Wyatt B. Durrette, Republican candidate for Virginia governor, pledged yesterday to support state funding for the Metro system, but dodged making any commitments on how he would increase critically needed money for the state's growing transportation problems.
Durrette told a group of Fairfax County business and government representatives that he would expedite construction of the Springfield Bypass, a proposed $200 million highway that would slice through the western and southern parts of the county. He said that the county also should consider seeking approval of an outer beltway on the far edge of Fairfax to relieve traffic congestion.
Although Durrette, a Richmond lawyer and former state delegate from Fairfax, said Virginia will be forced to find more money to finance much-needed road improvements, he declined to specify how that money should be obtained.
"It would be a mistake to try to present that in a campaign," Durrette told members of the Tysons Transportation Association, a fledgling organization of business and government leaders involved in transportation issues affecting the congested Tysons Corner area.
"Transportation needs are urgent, but they cannot and will not be met through existing funds," Durrette said during the breakfast session at the offices of a Tysons Corner legal firm.
Durrette's comments to the group echoed those made to the same organization last week by his Democratic opponent, state Attorney General Gerald L. Baliles. He agreed that transportation problems are the greatest political concerns statewide. Baliles also refused to say how he would raise new money for transportation improvements.