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Sen. Bill Stanley criticizes VDOT for not spending money that he doesn’t think it should have.
Thursday, April 4, 2013
A day after three people died in Sunday’s massive pileup on fog-shrouded Fancy Gap Mountain, state Sen. Bill Stanley, R-Franklin County, complained that the Virginia Department of Transportation should move more quickly on projects such as variable speed limits to enhance safety on the stretch of Interstate 77 in Carroll County.
“Something like that is long overdue, and I’m a little bothered by the fact that VDOT has not moved forward on this,” Stanley told The Roanoke Times’ Laurence Hammack.
VDOT officials said insufficient funding is one reason the project has not developed more quickly.
Stanley had a chance to do something about Virginia’s chronic transportation funding woes this winter. But he voted against a bipartisan plan designed to generate as much as $880 million in new funds by 2018 and end the practice of shifting road construction dollars to cover maintenance needs. The plan passed, even though Stanley voted against moving forward.
In a newsletter circulated after the legislative session, Stanley complained that the tax increases in the bill “were just too great,” and the plan would benefit only Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads. Gov. Bob McDonnell’s office boasted last week that the package will fund “thousands of delayed construction and maintenance projects around the state,” including road and bridge projects in Southwest Virginia.
Stanley is right that safety improvements on Fancy Gap are long overdue. But when the indignant senator points his finger at VDOT, his credibility gets lost in the fog.
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