Daily News Brief, July 6, 2016

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Feds Give VDOT Program (with I-95 Express Lanes Expansions) a $165 Million Boost

The Washington Post reports, “Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) announced [on July 5] that Virginia was awarded a federal grant of $165 million for its Atlantic Gateway program, a set of rail, highway and bridge projects meant to ease some of the worst travel bottlenecks on the East Coast.” [Link added.] The report adds that highlights of the $1.4 billion program include extending 95 Express Lanes south to Fredericksburg, constructing a new southbound bridge on I-95 across the Rappahannock River and extending 95 Express Lanes north to the Potomac River.

The Virginian-Pilot explains why the program, including the express lane extensions, will have an impact on the Hampton Roads region.



Ex-PANYNJ Chair Samson Will Plead Guilty to a Federal Offense, Newspaper Reports

New York Observer reports that David Samson, former board chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and a “mentor” to Governor Chris Christie, “will plead guilty to a single felony charge as early as the end of this week,” but is not cooperating with federal authorities probing the Bridgegate fiasco. The Observer reports that the charge relates to Samson’s use of the so-called “Chairman’s Flight,” a United Airlines route from Newark to a small Columbia, SC, airport through which Samson traveled to his vacation home.


Wekiva Parkway Traffic Is Well Below Forecasts, but Locals Remain Optimistic

Orlando Sentinel reports that, “Traffic is far below expectations on a slice of Wekiva Parkway that opened earlier this year, but residents are encouraged by the expressway’s potential. . . .” The article adds, “About 173,000 cars have traveled the road since its opening on Jan. 20 through Mayofficials said. That’s about 1,300 cars a day, or only about 13 percent, of what [FDOT] had projected for that stretch. . . .” Still, the newspaper reports that local real estate businesses like the toll road, which is scheduled to expand to a length of 25 miles within five years.