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nited States Senate WASHINGTON, DC 20510 June 24, 2019 The Honorable John Barrasso ‘The Honorable Tom Carper Chairman Ranking Member Environment and Public Works Committee Environment and Public Works Committee United States Senate United States Senate Washington, D.C. 20510 Washington, D.C. 20510 Dear Chairman Barrasso and Ranking Member Carper: In April 2019, we wrote two separate letters to the Committee highlighting programs important to our nation’s infrastructure that you should consider as you develop the next surface transportation reauthorization bill. As you continue your deliberations, we respectfully request that you consider including robust funding for improvements to the Interstate-81 Corridor. Interstate 81 (I-81) plays a significant role in Virginia's economy, but the corridor requites long-term funding for upgrades and improvements. More than one-third of all trucks that drive through Virginia and approximately half of the Commonwealth’s value of goods are transported along I-81, which plays a major role in commerce along the East Coast. I-81 has also experienced traffic growth, and travel is anticipated to only increase along the interstate, with truck traffic growing at a faster pace than automobile traffic.' However, the corridor has been facing safety and reliability issues, including more than 2,000 crashes annually along the route. These accidents, as a result, create travel delays and safety hazards on the interstate. While improvements have been made in past years to keep up with the growth, the corridor continues to experience heavy congestion and dangerous conditions as a result of the cortidor’s degradations. This year, the Virginia General Assembly approved a plan that includes higher truck registration fees and gas tax increases, which would raise about $2.2 billion in revenue for upgrades to I-81. However, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has also idemtified a funding gap between money generated through the Commonwealth's funding ‘mechanism and what is needed to adequately fix the corridor. I-81, in its entirety, will require a total of $4 billion for repairs, upgrades, and improvements. Therefore, federal funding is crucial to address this deficit As you continue to draft the surface transportation reauthorization bill, we urge you to include as much funding as possible for major, high priority interstate improvements projects ‘ “Interstate 81: Delivering Reliability for Our Freight and Families,” Virginia Department of Transpiration, (March 4, 2019), available at filex/C: Users‘e14865 |/AppData!l.ocal/Migrosotl/Windows/PNeiCache'Con 2019%201NERA"s20Grnt such as I-81 in Virginia. Robust funding through formula programs, as well as additional competitive grant programs like BUILD and INFRA, will be necessary to achieve funding goals for this, and other major projects that involve improvements to hundreds of miles of major interstate arteries. We appreciate your consideration of this request in accordance with all applicable rules and look forward to working closely with you. Should you or your staff have any questions regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact Courtney Lam at (202) 224-2023 in Senator Warner's office or Tobyn Anderson at (202) 224-4024 in Senator Kaine’s office. Sincerely, —) Mok. € A fnew Ae MARK R. WARNER: neq TIM KAINE United States Senator United States Senator