First-of-its-Kind Dashboard Highlights Benefits of Federal Highway Investment in Virginia

June 23, 2020

Virginia leveraged $432.0 million in federal funds to advance $2,000.8 million in highway improvements during fiscal year (FY) 2018, according to an interactive tool that for the first time provides the public and elected officials a clear look at how and where the state invests its transportation tax dollars.

Obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, the American Road & Transportation Builders Association’s (ARTBA) Highway Dashboard: A 50-State Guide to the Benefits of Federal Investment” displays information on more than 495 Virginia projects that moved forward in FY 2018. Based on Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) data, the dashboard provides the same information for all states.

The top five projects receiving federal funding in the state during 2018 included:

  • City of Fredericksburg-I95 Southbound-Rappahannock River Crossing
  • City of Fredericksburg-I95 Southbound-Rappahannock River Crossing
  • Planning & Research – STARS IV
  • Buchanan County – Corridor Q Route 121/460 Connection – rough grade roadbed

“This dashboard helps shift the conversation from how much each state gets to specific outcomes and benefits,” ARTBA President Dave Bauer says.  “Such transparency and accountability will help residents better understand the value they are getting from infrastructure investments.”

The current federal FAST Act surface transportation law expires September 30.  As Congress continues working on a new long-term bill, the dashboard will help members of Congress and their staffs to learn more about projects and how federal funds are being utilized in their respective states, ARTBA says.

“The dashboard spotlights the important role the federal highway program plays in our state,” says Jeffrey Southard, executive vice president, Virginia Transportation Construction Alliance. “Passage of a long-term bill by Congress with increased  investment is the right medicine to significantly boost our economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

In FY 2018, 58 percent of projects costs were for added capacity, according to the ARTBA analysis.  Planning, design and construction engineering (9 percent of funds), reconstruction or repair work on existing highways (7 percent) and right of way purchases (4 percent), are among 12 ways the state spent its transportation dollars.

Compiled by ARTBA Chief Economist Dr. Alison Premo Black, the ARTBA Highway Dashboard features the top projects dating back to 1950. This data is submitted by states as part of FHWA’s Fiscal Management Information System (FMIS).

About VTCA:  Representing more than 300 companies and tens of thousands of employees, the Virginia Transportation Construction Alliance is the only state association exclusively dedicated to serving the transportation construction industries in the Commonwealth. VTCA is the voice for the contractors, aggregate producers, engineers, suppliers and service providers who plan, design, build and maintain Virginia’s transportation network.

Established in 1902 and with more than 8,000 public and private sector members, the Washington, D.C.-based ARTBA advocates for strong investment in transportation infrastructure to meet the public and business community demand for safe and efficient travel.

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