NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) - Gov. Bob McDonnell was in Newport News Thursday, touting his pitch to eliminate the gas tax and increase the sales tax, paired with a transportation overhaul.
"This is the year. No more delays, no more kicking the can down the road, no more saying this is not a perfect bill to vote on," McDonnell said.
The governor presented his plan at the Huntington Ingalls Industries Bateman Center. Newport News Shipbuilding employs 22,000 people, making it Virginia's largest private employer.
"The governor's bill will generate $3.1 billion and more than half goes to new construction," President and CEO Matt Mulherin said. "I can't tell you how important roads are to our employers."
McDonnell blamed Republicans and Democrats alike for failing to seize the day and said after 22 years in Richmond, 2013 is the year to get a comprehensive, long-term transportation plan though the General Assembly.
In Hampton Roads, one of the Commonwealth's most congested areas, the following projects would be pursued by the governor:
- Increased passenger train service to and from Norfolk
- I-64 capacity improvements between Newport News and Williamsburg
- I-64 and I-264 interstate reconstructive paving improvements
- Widening of Military Highway
- Secondary unpaved road projects in Isle of Wight, Southampton, Sussex and York counties
- Numerous bridge replacements
Tune in to WAVY News 10 at 5 p.m. tonight for more information on the governor's proposal.
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