Last Friday marked the second time in 2019 that Governor Northam visited Salem to address issues concerning Interstate-81.
In April, he announced budget amendments. On June 7, he signed bipartisan legislation that is expected to kick start over $2 billion worth of projects.
When he arrived at the VDOT District Offices, he was accompanied by several local senators and delegates, including Senators Bill Carrigo and Creigh Deeds, and Delegates Chris Hurst, Steve Landes and Sam Rasoul. Also present was Shannon Valentine, the Secretary of Transportation for Virginia.
Stephen Bridge, Commissioner of Highways for the Virginia Department of Transportation, said, “We are very grateful for this partnership that brought us here today, and mark this historic action to dedicate funding directly to I-81 for the very first time.”
On the day of the signing, the Governor was caught in traffic because of an accident on I-81. Virginia’s number one priority, the economy, according to the governor, will be supported by the new changes.
“Shannon asked an important question, and that is how did this happen? It happened because of teamwork. The reason why I am here today, aside from signing these two pieces of legislation, is to say thank you to everyone who was involved,” said the governor. “Not only is I-81 an important project, but if you look around the Commonwealth right now starting in the Hampton Roads, I-64 is being expanded to three lanes. Shannon and her staff have done just commendable work.”
Speaking on the improving infrastructure in Virginia, Governor Northam said, “if you look at the things that make Virginia a business-friendly state, a lot of that has to do with workforce training and development. We need to be able to improve individuals and goods from point A to point B.“