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Suffolk bus project rated top SmartScale project in state

A Suffolk Transit project that would create a new express commuter bus route between high-employment industrial areas in Suffolk, the city’s Park and Ride and the Victory Crossing Bus Transfer Station was ranked as the top SmartScale project in the state.

The project would cost $357,569, which would be totally paid for through SmartScale money should it come through, and it would be used to pay for two buses. It would give people who have limited transportation options a way to get to and from work.

City Public Works Director L.J. Hansen said at a November Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization meeting that Suffolk Transit is looking to make connections with regional partners and expand service to more rural areas in the city, and in Windsor.

“As we’ve reached out and talked to our partners in business, one of the essential elements is always job force,” Hansen said during that meeting. “We recognize that there’s a job force located in the city of Suffolk, but there’s a job force also located outside the city of Suffolk.”

The Commonwealth Transportation Board released scores for the fourth round of transportation projects to be evaluated under the SmartScale prioritization process. Though more than 400 projects were submitted from localities, metro planning organizations and other regional organizations around the state, several were withdrawn, leaving 397 total projects valued at $6.3 billion, with $1.374 billion available in the SmartScale program — $883.7 million for the district grant program and $490.7 million for the statewide high priority projects program.

Projects were scored on safety, congestion reduction, accessibility to jobs and businesses, economic development, environmental impacts and land use.

In the next few months, the Hampton Roads District, as well as others around the state, will hold public hearings that will allow for public comment on what the CTB staff recommends and any possible revisions.

The board is expected to act on the final six-year improvement program in June. Once projects are selected, they are funded through construction.

Appointed by the governor, the 17-member CTB establishes the administrative policies and approves funding allocation for Virginia’s transportation system.

 

Suffolk projects

Suffolk Express Commuter Bus

Hampton Roads District Rank: 1/53

State Rank: 1/397

 

College Drive Bus Pullout

Hampton Roads District Rank: 4/53

State Rank: 6/397

 

Godwin Boulevard Improvements

Hampton Roads District Rank: 21/53

State Rank: 126/397

 

Route 17 (Bridge Road) Roadway Widening

Hampton Roads District Rank: 24/53

State Rank: 142/397

 

Route 10/32 Diverging Diamond Interchange

Hampton Roads District Rank: 27/53

State Rank: 166/397

 

Suffolk Seaboard Coastline Trail — Phase IIIA

Hampton Roads District Rank: 28/53

State Rank: 174/397

 

Route 58 Improvements — Longstreet Lane to Holland Bypass

Hampton Roads District Rank: 31/53

State Rank: 200/397