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Virginia's Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) last week approved the Six-Year Improvement Plan, which allocates $14.4 billion to transportation projects over the next six fiscal years. CTB's fiscal year begins July 1. The program sets aside $3.7 billion for rail and public transportation projects, with the remaining $10.7 billion earmarked for highway construction.The plan provides funding for more than 3,200 transportation projects throughout Virginia, including $500,000 in FY2017 to expand Virginia Railway Express' Lorton platform. For the first time, the program includes projects that were scored and approved for full funding under the prioritization process passed by the state's General Assembly in 2014. Known as "SMART SCALE," the process calls for evaluating each project's merits busing key factors such as improvement to safety, congestion reduction, accessibility and economic development.Through the process, the CTB approved $1.7 billion in funding to build 163 projects over the next six fiscal years."Virginia is the first state in the country to use an outcome-based prioritization process to select transportation projects," said Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe in a press release. "No longer are we allowing politics and wish lists determine what gets built."
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