Virginia Governor seeks $6bn for PPPs

Governor Robert McDonnell provided details on his $4bn proposal for state transportation funding, which he said will create $6bn worth of public-private partnerships. In a public address, McDonnell said ‘Virginia is thrilled to be open for business’.

Republican Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell sketched in some details of his $4 billion plan to fund transportation improvements over the next three years, a plan he believes will “leverage” up to $6 billion worth of public-private partnerships, according to a statement from his office.

Robert McDonnell

McDonnell touted his transportation agenda, which he announced last month, at last Wednesday’s State of the Commonwealth address. His agenda included the creation of a state infrastructure bank backed by $150 million from the budget surplus and accelerating the sale of state bonds to a maximum of $600 million annually.

Two days later, he held a press conference in which he expanded on his transportation agenda and gave examples of some of the 900 road, railway and public transit projects he plans to fund. 

Among them were “major public private partnership projects” such as the construction of a Midtown Tunnel tube in Norfolk, the construction of High Occupancy and Toll lanes on I-95/395, and the widening of 2.5 miles of the I-66 roadway, whose construction costs are projected at $90 million, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation website.

McDonnell outlined several ways in which those projects would be funded, including the privatisation of the state-owned Alcohol Beverage Council, which he said would bring in $300 million for the Transportation Infrastructure Bank. 

McDonnell insisted he was committed to raising the $4 billion for transportation without raising taxes.  He also emphasized that Virginia was “business friendly”, and that a “smart government” uses “free market as the greatest generator of wealth”, according to a transcript of his State of the Commonwealth address.