In the inevitable consequence of the failure of Assembly Republicans to allow Virginia to do anything about the commonwealth's transportation funding deficit, a large number of Loudoun traffic projects have been placed in limbo. After VDOT announced a 44% drop in transportation funding for Loudoun back in April, the Board of Supervisors were forced to look at what projects would be effected. On Friday, we found out.
County officials have been forced to scale back their six-year road building plan to reflect a 44 percent drop in projected state transportation spending. For Loudoun, the decrease in projected state funding totals more than $16 million for the six-year period.The Belmont Ridge Road and Edwards Ferry Road project cuts will be especially difficult for people who live in and around Leesburg.
The revised plan, if approved Tuesday by the Board of Supervisors, will reduce funding for improvements to Belmont Ridge Road, Route 287 and the South King Street Trail, as well as engineering and surveying countywide. Funding will be eliminated for construction on Edwards Ferry Road, Waxpool Road and Creamer Lane and for preliminary engineering for improvements to Lincoln Road. - LoudounExtra
Under the original six-year plan, Belmont Ridge Road was to have been widened to four lanes from Route 7 to the Dulles Greenway.Local residents know that the north/south corridors in and around Leesburg are in bad need of fixing. The Town has made a lot of its own money available to deal with these state responsibilities already, and it appears the Republicans in the Assembly are willing to abdicate those responsibilities to already cash-strapped local governments again. The most ominous outcome, however, is not in road construction cuts, but in maintenance cuts.
Studies have shown that 16,000 vehicles a day use Belmont Ridge on average; that number is expected to increase to 26,000 by 2032. - LoudounExtra
But funding for miscellaneous countywide services provided by the Virginia Department of Transportation, including traffic studies and enhanced maintenance, was deleted for the last three years of the six-year period. County officials said they hope money will be restored before any services are affected. - LoudounExtraRoad maintenance is always critical. And the cost of road maintenance has been at the heart of Virginia's transportation funding crisis.
Meanwhile, our Representative in Congress has been hunkered down and hoping the voters of the 10th District won't notice that he has done absolutely nothing to help solve our transportation funding problems. Perhaps Frank Wolf could have used some of his vaunted experience and influence to help the roads funding problems in his district? That may be asking too much, though. After all, he was completely out of the loop on the problems with funding for rail to Reston, so that experience and influence is worth less than a hill of beans these days.
The failure of Republicans in the House of Delegates to join a solution on roads money in Virginia puts all the Federal money for metro to Dulles at risk once again. One might expect Frank Wolf, as the most senior Virginia Republican in the House of Representatives, to take an interest in activities in Richmond that put a Federal project of such concern to his constituents at risk. After all, he has no problem sticking his nose in Richmond's business when it suits his political purposes. We might have expected Frank Wolf to use his influence with his own party in Richmond to help fix the roads funding problems in his district and put funding for rail to Dulles on a more secure footing. We might have expected that, but we would have been disappointed.
This year, Congressman Wolf seems to be too busy trying to raise rel-election money and echoing The Executive to bother with the signature Federal project in his district. Apparently, a quixotic quest to deal with tolls on 267 is more important than fixing the real road and rail funding crisis in his Commonwealth. Frank Wolf is hoping the voters won't notice his abandonment of their interests on this issue.
Too bad we've noticed and will hold Frank Wolf, and Republicans in the Assembly, accountable.