Forbes finds funds for 460

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 11, 2005

Staff report

The House of Representatives Thursday voted to authorize $5 million for the improvement of U.S. Route 460 in the Petersburg-Hampton Roads Corridor as part of H.R. 3, The Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy For Users (TEA-LU).

According to an announcement from Rep. J. Randy Forbes (R-Va.), authorized funds for Route 460 will provide for a study to assess the improvement of the highway along the Petersburg-Hampton Roads Corridor from approximately I-295 to Bowers Hill.

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This authorization includes an evaluation of rail along this route, as well.

&uot;The authorization of this study is extremely important to the region.

Not only does Route 460 serve as a freight corridor and an access to the ports, as we have seen, in the event of a hurricane or other natural disaster Rt. 460 is a vital civilian evacuation route and the facility provides access to the bases allowing for transport of both troops and equipment,&uot; Forbes said. &uot;We are very excited to receive this funding authorization amidst tight budgetary constraints across the nation and the Commonwealth.&uot;

Specifically, the study of the approximately 60-mile stretch of Rt. 460 will include an environmental analysis, evaluation of a new location for a limited access highway, construction analysis development, an upgrade of the existing 460 roadway, and project development for a public-private partnership solicitation.

Forbes requested authorization for the project from the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

Authorization is the first step in a two-step process to secure federal funding.

The formal process consists of: first, the enactment of an authorization measure that creates or continues an agency or program; and second, the enactment of appropriations to provide funds for the authorized agency or program.