NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Gov. Ralph Northam was in Norfolk on Wednesday to give the keynote address at an annual transportation conference.
Northam addressed transportation projects statewide and in Hampton Roads and says he’s taking a closer look at the commonwealth’s carbon footprint.
He announced $14 million will be used to help fund new electric buses throughout Virginia.
“We obviously want everybody to have access to transportation, but we really want to move towards clean energy, renewable energy, so this is a big step in that direction,” said Northam
“Less maintenance cost, so there is a bit of investment there to move toward electric buses, but they’ll be less maintenance on them and the air that we breathe will be cleaner because there will be no emissions,” he explained.
Major projects in the Tidewater region include the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel and High Rise bridge expansions. The HRBT $3 billion expansion would build four lanes in each direction between Hampton and Norfolk.
“Time is money for people and I don’t think there is anybody around Hampton Roads that hasn’t sat in traffic, especially when there are delays at the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel,” Northam said.
He says this is a priority project for the state. He expects big economic developments and progress to come from expansion. With an expected finish date in 2024, they are not slowing down anytime soon.
“We’ve got two contractors that are bidding on that project and I think people will see significant improvement in the next couple of years,” he said.
When the conference was held in Virginia Beach in 2015, then-Governor Terry McAuliffe talked about where transportation money gets spent and possibly expanding light rail service.