Meet the NVTA
Nohe: One of the challenges that we face at the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority is that we are generally seen as a fairly new organization, and many Northern Virginia residents are not familiar with who we are and what we do.
Having been tasked by the General Assembly to program and allocated the Northern Virginia component of the new transportation funding bill, we are in the process of developing an initial list of projects to be paid for with these new funds.
The authority’s primary goal is to select projects that will kick-start congestion relief.
All of the projects selected have been approved regionally in TransAction 2040 [the Northern Virginia transportation plan].
On crumbling roads: Is there any plan (or money) to begin repaving the roads in Fairfax County? I can’t believe how bad the roads are around here.
Nohe: This has become a very common question, as we are still feeling the effects of the reduction in maintenance funds that we experienced during the recession.
The NVTA does not perform road maintenance, like repaving, and in fact we are not permitted under the legislation to use the new Northern Virginia regional transportation funds for paving.
But the legislation also includes new revenues that flow to the Virginia Department of Transportation for maintenance, and my understanding is that they will be stepping up their efforts for this kind of repair throughout the state.
On Route 28 improvements: Why are improvements to Route 28 between Route 50 and the Dulles Toll Road even being considered? A better investment would be to save the money or allocate the $30 million to the Route 28/Interstate 66 interchange. It seems NVTA is just spending money to show that new transportation taxes are doing something.
Nohe: Route 28 is one of the most important transportation corridors in the region and there are a large number of projects that need attention. One of the criteria that we are using for the first round of projects considered for funding is “project readiness.”
I don’t think anyone will deny that upgrading the interchange at Route 28 and I-66 would make a huge improvement to alleviating congestion. It will take several years to complete, will likely require bond financing and will absolutely require tremendous planning.
It makes the most sense if it is not an NVTA project alone, but a partnership between the NVTA, VDOT, Fairfax County and the private sector. In the meantime, we want to also identify those smaller projects which can get off the ground quickly, but which will be important to making the interchange improvements worthwhile.