Thursday, January 27, 2022

City Again Requests VDOT Funds to Help Repave Streets

Williamsburg Municipal Building
Williamsburg Municipal Building

The City of Williamsburg is hoping its street maintenance plans will once again receive funding help from the state.

Under the revenue sharing program, the city would receive $500,000 from the Virginia Department of Transportation and match those funds with its own to pave nine streets, which account for 5.33 miles – or 10.4 percent – of the 51.2 miles of city-owned streets.

The latest application is for fiscal year 2017, which begins July 1.

VDOT has already agreed to a revenue sharing agreement with the city that provides about $1.18 million in state funds for 2016, the current fiscal year, that will allow for the repaving of about 4.21 miles of roadway and a reconfiguration of the intersection of Ironbound and Richmond roads.

If VDOT agrees to the fiscal 2017 revenue sharing plan, it will be the third consecutive year the city’s annual street paving will have received state help.

“The revenue sharing program allows us to gain more value out of our local dollars by leveraging them 50-50 with VDOT funds and with little state oversight required, which makes this a very advantageous funding source for local governments,” City Engineer Aaron Small said in his presentation to City Council at the Nov. 12 meeting.

Tentatively, the list of streets to be paved under the revenue sharing program would include:

  • Francis Street
  • York Street from Waller Street to intersection of York-Francis-Lafayette streets
  • South Boundary Street from Francis to South Henry streets
  • Ireland Street
  • Bypass Road from the corporate limit to Capitol Landing Road
  • The section of Holly Hills neighborhood not paved in 2015
  • Richmond Hill
  • Piney Creek Estates

The roads to be repaved in 2016 will be reassessed after this winter, as harsh weather and the roadway damage it causes often shifts priorities. The street list for 2017 could be affected in the same way.

“This [list] is what we anticipate for 2017, but it is subject to change,” Small said, offering up Jamestown Road as an example of a road that was not slated for paving but had been so severely damaged in the past two winters that it became a priority in 2015.

Small also warned the state is beginning to scale back VDOT’s revenue sharing program in favor of recent legislation – House Bill 2 – that aims to use an evaluation system for transportation projects to prioritize big-dollar projects around the state. He predicted the current $189 million pool of money will be scaled back to about $50 million in the next few years.

“At this point, we’re leveraging as much as we can in order to get as much maintenance as we possibly can,” Small said.

City Council approved the resolution to allow staff to submit an application for the revenue sharing funds at the November meeting with a 5-0 vote.

Small said the city will likely know whether it has received revenue sharing funds by June.

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