More Business Announce Support for Governor McDonnell's Transportation Plan
RICHMOND- Seven more business and labor groups today joined the growing list of supporters of Governor Bob McDonnell's "Virginia's Road to the Future" long-term transportation solution.
(Media-Newswire.com) - RICHMOND- Seven more business and labor groups today joined the growing list of supporters of Governor Bob McDonnell's "Virginia's Road to the Future" long-term transportation solution. The Lynchburg Regional Chamber of Commerce, Greater Augusta Regional Chamber of Commerce, Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, Wawa, Amtrak, DuPont, and the Virginia Association of Roofing Professionals announced their support for the governor's transportation plan. Official statements from the groups can be found below.
Lynchburg Regional Chamber of Commerce
"The Lynchburg area is the largest region in the state with no direct interstate access, so improvements to our area highways and rail network is vital for keeping our area residents and businesses connected to the economy of the rest of the state. We are also seeing a high demand for expanded passenger rail options that allow Lynchburg businesses to better connect with Virginia's urban crescent. Governor McDonnell's innovative plan to establish a long-term, sustainable funding source for transportation is a welcome solution to a long-term problem that has been neglected for too long. The economic prosperity of our Commonwealth is too important to delay solutions to this vital issue. We applaud the Governor's leadership on this issue and look forward to working with the Governor and the General Assembly to secure passage of this concept as a means of addressing Virginia's immediate and future transportation needs."- Rex Hammond, CCE, President and CEO, Lynchburg Regional Chamber of Commerce, which represents nearly 950 businesses, professionals and organizations
Greater Augusta Regional Chamber of Commerce
"Governor McDonnell's transportation proposal is a bold plan that ensures long-term, dedicated and sustainable funding for years to come. The chamber supports the increased long-term investment in transportation infrastructure to promote continued economic growth and quality of life. All modes of transportation are becoming increasingly important to the prosperity, health, education, safety, security, environment and overall quality of life - but the resources are not available to meet demands.
As a Virginia business and Chamber of Commerce member, we recognize and experience the impact that our underfunded, lagging transportation system has on commerce in the Commonwealth. Our state ranking continues to slide with a direct link to our aging and inadequate transportation system. An efficient transportation network is vital to the Commonwealth`s economic competitiveness and public safety. Governor McDonnell's transportation plan has the full support of the Greater Augusta Regional Chamber of Commerce." - Linda Hershey, President and CEO, Greater Augusta Regional Chamber of Commerce, which represents 843 businesses who employ more than 35,000 employees
Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce
"The Virginia peninsula region is home to a critical transportation hub facing some of the most dire transportation issues in the Commonwealth. The current declining revenue going towards transportation represents a threat to our ability to continue to attract and grow business in this region. Governor McDonnell has put forward a balanced approach that provides a long-term solution to the diminished funding of our roads and other means of transportation. We applaud the governor for this bold initiative and the Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce strongly endorses the governor's efforts. This plan, when implemented, will provide the business community with confidence that there will be sufficient funding for a dynamic transportation network in Virginia for years to come." - Mike Kuhns, President and CEO, Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, which represents 1400 member companies with more than 84,000 employees
"Amtrak admires Governor McDonnell's efforts to create a dedicated source of funding for Virginia's passenger rail programs and it is an important step in addressing Virginia's future transportation needs. The governor continues to offer true vision through the Commonwealth's support and expansion of intercity passenger rail as a relief to the growing problems of highway congestion. His vision that incorporates a passenger rail component as a vital alternative in Virginia's overall transportation solutions will be a contributor to Virginia's future economic success." - Joe McHugh, VP Government Affairs and Corporate Communications, Amtrak, which employs more than 860 employees in Virginia
"Governor McDonnell's comprehensive plan is the right long-term solution to the substantial transportation challenges facing Virginia. We applaud the Governor for presenting a bold proposal that will result in lower gas prices, increased economic opportunity and much-needed investments in infrastructure and public transit. Every day in Virginia, Wawa's 61 locations and hundreds of employees do their best to deliver our core purpose to simplify their customers' daily lives. They also see first-hand the need for better infrastructure and road systems for Virginia residents. Unfortunately, Virginia currently has some of the most congested roads in the country which will become a deterrent to economic development. It is paramount that we act now to preserve Virginia as an economic leader in the nation and the world."
"DuPont applauds Governor McDonnell for proposing a bold new solution to Virginia's transportation challenges. The governor's plan has the potential to spur new investment in the Commonwealth, leading to more jobs and lower gas prices as it provides for much-needed transportation investment. Manufacturers know that a world-class transportation system is essential to ensuring we can continue to compete globally; satisfy customers; and retain talented employees. We urge the General Assembly to adopt this plan, to help ensure Virginia maintains its business-friendly reputation." - Joe Internicola, Plant Manager at the DuPont Spruance Plant, which employs approximately 2,500 employees and contractors
Virginia Association of Roofing Professionals
"The roofing industry, like all Virginia businesses, is dependent upon the ability to efficiently and safely move goods and our services throughout the Commonwealth. Small businesses require a good transportation network to survive. In our business, we recommend replacing the roof when it becomes unreliable and leaky and we understand that even the best built projects wear out over time. Our transportation system is like that leaking roof. We simply can't continue to put small patches on it and expect it to serve us well. We applaud Governor McDonnell for taking the bold and innovative steps to revitalize our transportation funding system and leading efforts to make the difficult and long-term structural changes that will keep drivers safe and keep businesses and the Virginia economy growing." - Steve Hentz, Owner of Hentz Engineering, Inc and President of the Virginia Association of Roofing Professionals, which represents 190 member businesses
These seven 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 Associated General Contractors of Virginia Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division of Teamsters Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen CSX Transportation, Inc. Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce 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 Old Dominion Highway Contractors Association Norfolk Southern Corporation Northern Virginia Technology Council Prince William Chamber of Commerce Richmond Area Municipal Contractors Association Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce Precast Concrete Association of Virginia Virginia Asian Chamber of Commerce Virginia Asphalt Association Virginia Association of REALTORS Virginia Automobile Dealers Association Virginia Chamber of Commerce Virginians for High Speed Rail Virginia Railroad Association Virginia Ready-Mixed Concrete Association Virginia Regional Transit Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Virginia Transportation Construction Alliance Governor McDonnell's plan will provide more than $3.1 billion in transportation funding for the Commonwealth over the next five 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 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.
This story was released on 2013-01-19. Please make sure to visit the official company or organization web site to learn more about the original release date. See our disclaimer for additional information.