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U.S. 58 bill passes General Assembly
Measure OKs bond funding; prioritizes Lovers Leap project
Friday, February 22, 2013
A bill that authorizes bonds to be issued and prioritizes the Lovers Leap section of work on U.S. 58 is headed to Gov. Bob McDonnell’s desk.
The House voted 76-18 to accept three Senate amendments to HB 1953, which will make key structural changes to the bond authorization measures outlined for the U.S. 58 Corridor Development Program.
Delegates first passed the bill sponsored by Del. Charles Poindexter, R-Glade Hill, on Feb. 4, according to a release.
The Senate passed the bill Feb. 15, with three amendments, two of which increase the bond authorization amount to cover construction from Stuart to Interstate 77 in lieu of re-borrowing the amount that was paid down on the original bond package and outlined in the original bill.
The third amendment makes the bill contingent on the General Assembly passing a “comprehensive” statewide transportation funding package that is signed by McDonnell.
The bill authorizes an additional $553 million to be issued in bonds to complete the Crooked Road, Vesta and Lover’s Leap segments of U.S. 58, according to a release from Poindexter. A component of the legislation prioritizes completion of the eight-mile Lover’s Leap section.
“This is one more step closer to our goal of eventually completing the four-laning of Route 58,” Poindexter said in the release. “I would like to thank everyone who wrote letters to members of the Senate Finance Committee and came to Richmond to testify for the bill, as well as Sens. (Bill) Carrico and (Bill) Stanley, who got the bill out of the Senate. The show of support was very influential and demonstrated to other legislators the importance of this highway to our region.”
Poindexter said he would ask McDonnell to remove the third amendment if a comprehensive transportation bill does not pass the legislature.
In 1989, the General Assembly established the U.S. 58 Corridor Development Program to enhance economic development potential across Southern and Southwest Virginia. The program was intended to create “Super 58,” a four-lane expressway connecting the communities along the southern border of Virginia from Hampton Roads to the coalfields of Southwest Virginia.
Four-lane U.S. 58 improvements have been completed from Virginia Beach west to Stuart. Bypasses have been constructed around South Hill, Clarksville, Danville, Martinsville and Stuart.