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Adams bill seeks to speed up I-73
Del. Les Adams
Thursday, January 9, 2014
By BULLETIN STAFF REPORTS -
A resolution introduced to the General Assembly by newly elected Del. Les Adams is intended to help get Interstate 73 built.
Adams, R-Chatham, prefiled House Joint Resolution 38, which would create a joint subcommittee to do a two-year study to promote construction of I-73 in Virginia. The House has referred the resolution to its Committee on Rules, according to the state’s Legislative Information System (LIS).
I-73, which would pass through Henry County, would help south-central Virginia develop a more vibrant economy, the resolution indicates.
The subcommittee would serve as a link between the region’s businesses, residents, lawmakers and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), receiving and disseminating communications between that department and “those most greatly concerned with the speedy completion and success of the interstate construction project,” HJ 38 states.
Fourteen people would be on the subcommittee. The House speaker would appoint six lawmakers from that chamber and two private citizens, and four senators and two citizens would be selected by the Senate’s Committee on Rules. All members would be from areas I-73 would serve. A chairman and vice chairman would be selected from among the legislative members, according to the resolution.
Adams could not be reached for additional comments.
Jason Bond, spokesman for VDOT’s Salem District, said his agency usually does not comment on pending legislation. He said, though, that he was not familiar with Adams’ resolution.
Anything that would help get funds for the design and construction of I-73 “would be welcome,” Bond said.
I-73 has cleared the environmental review process so it is “ready to move forward,” he said.
However, the Commonwealth Transportation Board has not yet identified funding to design or build the highway, Bond noted.
The subcommittee would meet four times this year and in 2015. A total of $23,600 would be reserved to cover its costs each year. Its chairman would submit summaries of its findings and recommendations before the 2015 and 2016 General Assembly sessions begin, the resolution shows.
HJ 38 instructs the Senate’s clerk to send copies of the resolution to the North Carolina and South Carolina legislatures because the three states are working together to promote I-73’s construction.
Adams represents the 16th District, which includes Martinsville and parts of Henry and Pittsylvania counties.
This is Adams’ first term as a lawmaker. He was elected Nov. 5 to succeed former Republican delegate Don Merricks, who did not run for re-election.
The only other piece of legislation prefiled by Adams, the LIS indicates, is House Joint Resolution 46, honoring former Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors chairman Marshall Ecker, who died in September.