Transportation was my top priority during my eight years in Richmond.
My most important legislation set the framework for building the Route 28 Freeway. I introduced HB735 and several other Rt. 28 bills in 2002. Our plan was to replace traffic lights with overpasses and to widen the road to eight lanes. This was done with record speed. By the end of 2006–my last year in office–seven flyovers were operating and five more opened the year after.
The Route 28 Freeway saves many commuters an hour’s driving each day. Commuters on Waxpool Road–who once suffered through six traffic light cycles–now slip smoothly onto Rt. 28 on their way to work.
I initiated another major project by convincing Governor Gilmore to support the upgrade of Route 15 from Leesburg to the Point of Rocks Bridge in Maryland. That construction saved dozens of lives on the once-deadly stretch.
In an especially lean year for funding–I passed HB426. That bill brought $29 million in new highway funds to Loudoun and Fairfax Counties. That was the only “new” construction money garnered by any Virginia legislator in 2002.
As a senior member of the Transportation Committee, I persuaded the Secretary of Transportation that we needed to widen Route 7 to alleviate congestion. She added it to the Six-Year Transportation Improvement Plan. However, Democrats deliberately blocked the plan when Mark Warner became Governor. One of his first acts was to strip Route 7 from the Six-Year Plan. Since then, traffic congestion has reached unbearable levels. If you elect me to the Senate, I’ll fight to make Rt. 7 a priority again.
Northern Virginia has long been denied its fair share of transportation funds. I will introduce legislation to reform the way Virginia’s highway funds are allocated, so that counties with the most congestion will get the greatest share of funds.
Another major impediment to highway construction has been the General Assembly’s constant raids on the Transportation Trust Funds. Roads should be our top funding priority but legislators constantly drain road funds for other things. I have introduced a Constitutional Amendment prohibiting raids on the trust funds, so that we can reliably reserve money for highway construction.