Fairfax County has made its preliminary wish list of road and transit projects it hopes to fund with newly acquired state revenues.
The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority will make preliminary recommendations next week regarding which regional projects should receive funding from the new pool of money generated by the statewide transportation bill.
Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) ceremonially signed the transportation bill in Richmond Monday, which is expected to generate about $4 billion for construction over the next six years.
The authority is anticipated to receive just under $200 million in fiscal 2014 but has received about $500 million in requests, according to Tom Biesiadny, director of the Fairfax County Department of Transportation.
Fairfax County is seeking funding for $79 million in road projects and $140 million in transit projects.
In deciding which projects to fund, NVTA will look at factors like congestion relief on a regional scale, balancing different modes of transportation, benefits to air quality and connecting regional activity centers, Biesiadny said.
The Board of Supervisors also voted to request $20 million in federal grant funding for the second phase of the Silver Line construction. The funding, if approved, would help pay for the Innovation Center station at Route 28.
The county was turned down for the grant in the past, but Biesiadny said he believes they have a better shot this time around.
“We believe that previously it wasn’t funded because it wasn’t as close to shovel-ready as other projects around the country,” he said. Now, with a construction contract awarded for the second phase of the rail line, the county may stand a better chance of receiving the grant.
The county is also requesting $89 million for Innovation Center from NVTA and $20 million for parking garages at two of the Phase II stations, something some county supervisors said they weren’t necessarily sold on.
Supervisors Michael Frey (R-Sully) and Pat Herrity (R-Springfield) said they wished the Board of Supervisors had more opportunity to review and discuss the list before sending it to NVTA.
County transportation staff generated the list based on the NVTA criteria as well as the county’s previously approved transportation plans.
“This is not the hand-selected list that I would have had,” said Supervisor Jeff McKay (D-Lee), chairman of the board’s transportation committee. “This is an attempt to take projects that meet the criteria and put them on the list for one year.”
There will be a longer time frame for evaluating project submissions in future years, he said, and ultimately it will be NVTA that decides what does and does not receive funding.