AASHTO Journal, 6 June 2014
Vermont Governor Pete Shumlin this week signed a bill that will give transportation infrastructure a big boost in fiscal year 2015—the largest single transportation investment measure in the state’s history.
The measure allows for $685.7 million in infrastructure improvements in FY 2015, money that will go to support the Vermont Agency of Transportation’s “vision of a safe, efficient, multimodal transportation system that promotes Vermont’s quality of life and economic wellbeing.”
The FY 2015 funding measure provides $115.7 million for roadway paving (up 7 percent from FY 2014); $140.3 million for bridges (a 6 percent increase from FY 2014); $50 million for the roadway budget (a 6 percent decrease from the current year); $13.3 million for highway safety and traffic operations (a 16 percent increase from the current year); $2.7 million for park-and-ride facilities (a 35 percent decrease from FY 2014); $29.8 million for transit (a 5 percent increase from the current year); $19.9 million for aviation (up 67 percent from FY 2014); $37.3 million for rail (a 7 percent increase from FY 2014); and $108.7 million for town highway programs (18 percent higher than the FY 2014 level).
“This budget makes sound investments in our infrastructure that will grow Vermont jobs not only by directly supporting jobs in the construction industry, but also by supporting other important economic sectors such as tourism, agriculture, hospitality, manufacturing, among others,” Shumlin said in a statement.
Transportation investment in Vermont has been on the rise in recent years, especially after the state was ranked 45th in the nation for structurally deficient bridges. Just five years later, after investment and work by VTrans, the state dropped its rank to 28th (lowering structurally deficient bridges from 19.7 percent to about 8 percent in that time).
“Several successive years of record level investment are yielding positive results,” said VTrans Secretary Brian Searles. “We are seeing improved performance in pavement quality and in the condition of our structures. To continue these gains, this transportation bill will advance the repair or replacement of more than 100 bridges, perform preventive maintenance on dozens of structures, and improve more than 375 miles of pavement.”