Virginia: Commonwealth Transportation Board highway safety team, approves I-81 improvement plan

Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine on Wednesday presented Gov. Ralph Northam’s Executive Leadership Team on Highway Safety, announced the conclusion of the yearlong Interstate 81 (I-81) Corridor Improvement Plan study, and formally introduced the secretariat’s new Director of Research and Innovation for the Commonwealth.

The Governor’s Executive Leadership Team on Highway Safety, comprised of representatives from Virginia’s Departments of Motor Vehicles, State Police, Transportation, Health, and Education, will focus on shifting a positive travel safety culture to reduce roadway crashes and associated deaths and injuries.

One of the team’s first initiatives, a Digital Town Hall, invites the public to provide thoughtful feedback on how to curb safety issues, including distracted driving.

The CTB voted today to approve the I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan developed by a study team supported by the Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), and the Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT). As set forth in Senate Bill 971 (now Acts of Assembly Chapter 743), the study was to identify priorities along Virginia’s 325 miles of I-81 and potential revenue sources that could be dedicated to improvements. The study team established a portfolio of targeted solutions to improve travel on I-81 as well as a variety of funding mechanisms that could support the improvements. The team will now submit its findings to the General Assembly prior to the first day of the 2019 Session.