The Commonwealth Transportation Board or CTB for Virginia recently released scores for the fourth round of transportation projects evaluated under its “SMART SCALE” prioritization process during its January 2021 meeting.
[Above photo by the Virginia DOT.]
Appointed by Virginia’s governor, the 17-member CTB establishes the administrative policies and approves funding allocation for the state’s transportation system.
The CTB said more than 400 applications were submitted by localities, metropolitan planning organizations, and other regional entities across the state with 397 now scored based on several key factors: safety, congestion reduction, accessibility to jobs and businesses, economic development, environmental impacts, and land use.
“SMART SCALE is an objective, data-driven program to select which transportation projects will be developed across the Commonwealth,” explained Shannon Valentine, Virginia’s secretary of transportation, in a statement. “The release of the scores is the first step in a collaborative process to maximize our resources and advance our multimodal system.”
The funding request for this fourth round of SMART SCALE projects totaled $6.3 billion, signaling that there continues to be a “significant need” for investments to support transportation solutions.
The CTB said SMART SCALE application scores are based on the benefit of the project relative to the cost. The funding available for this round of SMART SCALE is just over $1.37 billion: $883.7 million for the District Grant Program and $490.7 million for the statewide High Priority Projects Program.
The CTB also voted at its January meeting to move forward with the preliminary engineering contract for the Long Bridge project: a major milestone that will bring that $3.7 billion passenger and freight rail project closer to the point of construction.