NATURAL BRIDGE, Va. – The Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) are inviting members of the public to attend the second meeting of the Interstate 81 (I-81) Advisory Committee next week.
The advisory committee meeting will be held Tuesday, October 1, at 3 p.m. at the Natural Bridge Conference Center, located at 15 Appledore Lane, Natural Bridge, VA 24578.
The I-81 Advisory Committee is charged with providing advice and making recommendations to the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) regarding the development of the I-81 Corridor Improvement program and updates to the I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan, as directed in 2019 Acts of Assembly Chapter 846. The plan was approved by the CTB in December 2018, following a comprehensive study of the corridor. The I-81 Advisory Committee will meet four times a year and report to the Governor and General Assembly each December.
The committee has 15 voting members: seven Virginia lawmakers, three CTB members representing the Bristol, Salem and Staunton districts and the five chairs of the planning district commissions. VDOT’s commissioner and DRPT’s director will serve on the committee ex officio in nonvoting capacities.
Legislation passed in the 2019 General Assembly established the I-81 Corridor Improvement Program, Fund and Committee. The legislation also provides revenues for the Fund through the creation of a new registration fee and diesel, regional and road taxes. Governor Ralph Northam announced amendments in March, providing dedicated annual funding to the corridor, estimated initially as $103 million in fiscal year 2020 and growing to an estimated $163 million in fiscal year 2025. These funds will support a $2 billion improvement program.