Obenshain happy governor signed I-81 bill

Sen.r Mark Obenshain, R-Harrisonburg, is pleased that Gov. Ralph Northam signed a bill that would develop and adopt an improvement plan for Interstate-81.

Sen.r Mark Obenshain, R-Harrisonburg, is pleased that  Gov. Ralph Northam signed a bill that would develop and adopt an improvement plan for Interstate-81.

Senate Bill 971 orders the Commonwealth Transportation Board to develop and adopt an Interstate-81 Corridor Improvement plan and evaluate financing options for the project.

“SB971 is a result of a bipartisan effort between the Secretary of Transportation and members of the General Assembly. I-81 is a crucial corridor for our Shenandoah Valley communities and for economic development for Virginia,” Obenshain wrote in a news release.

He said the interstate carries 42 percent of all the truck vehicle miles traveled in Virginia. When a crash occurs, the interstate traffic comes to a standstill for drivers.

“It is no secret, that in order to make significant safety improvements it will take a large revenue investment from the Commonwealth. The study will evaluate, among other things, the feasibility of tolling heavy commercial vehicles to finance corridor improvements,” Obenshain stated.

The bill states that the Transportation Board will complete its meetings by Nov. 30. It is to submit its findings to Northam and the General Assembly by the first day of the 2019 General Assembly.