Leaders Push for McDonnell's Transportation Funding Plan at Roanoke Press Conference

Roanoke, VA - Some snow in Richmond caused Governor McDonnell to cancel his appearance in Roanoke Thursday morning.

Instead, he called in to the transportation press conference and made remarks over the phone.

Wednesday, the Senate Transportation Committee advanced his five-year, $3.1 billion funding package to the Finance Committee. The bill includes eliminating the state's 17.5-cent per gallon gas tax and replace it with a sales tax increase of less than a penny on the dollar.

Roanoke's Mayor, Democrat David Bowers, is urging the General Assembly to pass the bill, which includes funding to support an Amtrak rail line from Lynchburg to the Star City.

"There's parts of this plan I don't like. There's parts, I'm sure... just like any legislation. But by and large... If it's not this then what? Put it off a couple more years? I don't think we can do that," said Bowers.

McDonnell is making two other stops in Northern Virginia and Newport News Thursday.

The governor's office released a press release with a list projects in the Roanoke/Lynchburg area that would benefit from the funding in McDonnell's plan:

Direct Amtrak service to downtown Roanoke

Route 701 approaches and bridge: Henry County

Route 1662 reconstruction and bridge replacement: Roanoke County

Route 1663 reconstruction and new drainage structure: Roanoke County

Route 668 approaches and bridge: Bedford County

Route 81 bridge replacement over New River: Montgomery County

Rouge 122 bridge replacement over Blackwater River: Franklin County

Route 43 bridge replacement over Stoney Creek: Bedford County

Route 8 bridge replacement over Mayo River: Patrick County

Route 58 bridge replacement over Crooked Creek: Carroll County

Route 47 bridge replacement over Peak Creek: Pulaski County

Route 813 bridge replacement over Roanoke River: Montgomery County

Route 221 bridge replacement over Big Reed Island Creek: Carroll County

Route 715 bridge replacement: Bedford County

Route 666 bridge replacement: Bedford County

Route 689 bridge replacement: Bedford County

Route 460 and Route 29 improvements

Route 623 bridge and approach improvements: Prince Edward County

Route 711 bridge replacement: Campbell County

Widening of Greenview Drive from two to four lanes: Lynchburg

Route 619 bridge replacement over Saylers Creek: Prince Edward County

Route 778 bridge replacement: Amherst County

Route 29 bridge replacement: Town of Hurt/Altavista

Reconstruction of road and construction of roundabout at intersection of Route 501 and Mayflower Drive: Lynchburg

Road paving projects in Bedford County, Patrick County, Montgomery County, Giles County, Roanoke County, Botetourt County, Franklin County, Floyd County, Carroll County, Buckingham County, Nelson County, Amherst County, Pittsylvania County, Prince Edward County, and Campbell County.

Significant operations and capital investments for public transportation services provided by Greater Lynchburg Transit Company, Greater Roanoke Transit Company (Valley Metro), RADAR, Ferrum Express, Blacksburg Transit, Pulaski Area Transit, District Three, Mountain Empire Older Citizens, Four County Transit, PART , Graham Transit (Bluefield), Bristol Virginia Transit , Radford and other local transit providers.

Get the complete proposed highway project list.

Get the complete proposed transit and rail project list.