FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Stewart Schwartz, Coalition for Smarter Growth: (703) 599 – 6437
Trip Pollard, Southern Environmental Law Center, (804) 318 – 7484
VIRGINIA – Just last night Congressmen Scott, Moran and Connolly sent a joint letter to Governor McDonnell, the Federal Highway Administration and the Army Corps of Engineers, requesting information about the Route 460 project and the wetlands impacts and questioning the value of the project given the very low traffic projections and other needs in Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia.
Yet, Governor McDonnell just announced today that his administration has signed the $1.4 billion contract for the project. It is unclear why the Governor did not delay the contract to address the Congressional concerns. The Administration appears to have been racing to sign the contracts and issue the bonds for the project before the General Assembly returns in January.
The Army Corps of Engineers has not yet granted the permits for the project and numerous state legislators and local officials have raised questions about the project, which will reportedly consume the last of the available construction funds in the state. Now, with the Congressional inquiry, there may be additional and much needed scrutiny of the project, the contracts for which hopefully have contingency clauses allowing the state to cancel or withdraw from the contract.
For further information contact Stewart Schwartz at the Coalition for Smarter Growth, 703-599-6437 (cell), who authored this statement.
Also available for comment is Trip Pollard of the Southern Environmental Law Center, 804-318-7484 (cell), who has been separately tracking the project and commissioned a report that was very critical of how the Public Private Transportation Act has been utilized in the case of Route 460.
About the Coalition for Smarter Growth
The Coalition for Smarter Growth is the leading organization in the Washington D.C. region dedicated to making the case for smart growth. Our mission is to promote walkable, inclusive, and transit-oriented communities, and the land use and transportation policies needed to make those communities flourish. To learn more, visit the Coalition’s website at www.smartergrowth.net.