Three More Business and Transportation Groups Endorse Governor McDonnell's Transportation Plan

From Gov. McDonnell's press office...

Three business and transportation groups today joined the growing list of supporters of Governor Bob McDonnell's “Virginia’s Road to the Future” (HB 2313/SB 1355) the comprehensive, long-term transportation funding plan. Universal Corporation, Virginia Aviation Business Association, and Virginia Airport Operators Council announced their support for the governor’s transportation funding solution. Official statements from the groups can be found below.

Universal Corporation

“Universal Corporation is pleased today to join the list of companies endorsing Governor McDonnell’s Transportation Plan that seeks to find a sustainable revenue source for Virginia’s transportation system. With significant interest in the road system to and from the Virginia ports, Universal’s business in the U.S. is significantly dependent on an adequate transportation infrastructure particularly in southern and eastern Virginia. 

“In addition, Universal’s employees consistently travel the I-95 corridor to the Dulles International Airport and Washington, D.C. 

“Universal has been a Virginia-based company for nearly 100 years managing global operations in over 30 countries worldwide. As such, Universal is keenly aware of the importance of moving product and people in both a timely and efficient manner.

“Virginia continues to make great strides as a leader in imports and exports through the ports as well as serving as the metropolitan hub for many Fortune 1000 companies and the federal government. Without a properly updated and maintained transportation system, the Commonwealth’s efforts will be for naught”, said George C. Freeman, III, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Universal Corporation. He added, “We salute Governor McDonnell for his bold initiative.  Like any plan, it may not be perfect, but the Commonwealth transportation system warrants immediate action.”

Virginia Aviation Business Association (VABA)

“As a representative of aviation businesses across the Commonwealth, VABA understands how imperative it is that innovative solutions be found to maintain and improve Virginia’s transportation infrastructure. Governor McDonnell’s plan to provide a comprehensive solution to transportation funding issues will provide long-term stability and create new economic opportunities.” - Donna Speidel, President, Virginia Aviation Business Association

Virginia Airport Operators Council (VAOC)

“The Virginia Airport Operators Council, representing the owners, operators and users of Virginia’s 66 public-use airports, endorses Governor McDonnell’s plan for long-term sustainable transportation funding as it relates to aviation. Virginia’s airport operators appreciate the importance of a comprehensive plan, which effectively and reliably funds the aviation transportation system, as vital to the continued growth and economic well being of the Commonwealth’s airports. A 2010 Economic Impact Study conducted by the Virginia Department of Aviation determined that Virginia's public use airports contribute $28.8 billion in economic benefit and create 259,000 jobs within the Commonwealth.” - William Kelly CM, President, Virginia Airport Operators Council

            These three groups join numerous business, labor and transportation groups that have already announced their support of the governor’s plan. They are:

·         American Concrete Paving Association - Mid-Atlantic Chapter

·         APM Terminals

·         Associated General Contractors of Virginia

·         Amtrak

·         Apartment and Office Building Association

·         Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division of Teamsters

·         Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen

·         CSX Transportation, Inc.

·         DuPont

·         Greater Augusta Regional Chamber of Commerce

·         Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce

·         Greater Richmond Technology Council

·         Greater Williamsburg Chamber & Tourism Alliance

·         Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce

·         Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce

·         Hampton Roads Utility and Heavy Contractors Association

·         Heavy Construction Contractors Association

·         Home Builders Association of Virginia

·         Lynchburg Regional Chamber of Commerce

·         Luck Companies

·         Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority

·         Norfolk Southern Corporation

·         Northern Virginia Technology Council

·         Old Dominion Highway Contractors Association

·         Prince William Chamber of Commerce

·         Richmond Area Municipal Contractors Association

·         Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce

·         Precast Concrete Association of Virginia

·         Sheet Metal Air Rail and Transportation Union

·         Virginia Economic Developers Association

·         Virginia Asian Chamber of Commerce

·         Virginia Asphalt Association

·         Virginia Association of Counties

·         Virginia Association of REALTORS

·         Virginia Association of Roofing Professionals

·         Virginia Association of Surveyors

·         Virginia Automobile Dealers Association

·         Virginia Chamber of Commerce

·         Virginia Business Council

·         Virginians for High Speed Rail

·         Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

·         Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce

·         Virginia Railroad Association

·         Virginia Ready-Mixed Concrete Association

·         Virginia Regional Transit

·         Virginia Transportation Construction Alliance

·         Washington Airports Task Force

·         Wawa

            Governor McDonnell’s plan will provide more than $3.1 billion in transportation funding for the Commonwealth over the next 5 years, including $1.8 billion for new construction. It will end the state’s crossover issue, in which money meant for construction is currently diverted to simple maintenance. The plan ties future transportation funding to economic growth and makes Virginia the first state in the nation to eliminate its gas tax, a rapidly declining revenue source. The full plan is available here.

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