VDOT explains what appears to be unspent millions in Charlottesville

Published: Jun. 1, 2022 at 9:41 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The City of Charlottesville has millions of dollars in unspent money from the Virginia Department of Transportation, though there’s actually more to it.

“It would really be correct to say they have $185 million grant funding available,” VDOT Culpeper District Local Assistance Program Manager Thomas Fitzpatrick said.

Fitzpatrick says he works as a liaison for Charlottesville as it moves forward with it construction projects.

“If you’ve been around the city, you’ll notice there’s notable changes happening on the north, west and east approaches, whether it be roadways or bridges. So, they have a number of Smart Scale projects. So $185 million, they’ve got about $91 million in funding for Smart Scale, they’ve got about $48 million in bridge funding,” Fitzpatrick said.

He says there’s another $40 million in revenue-sharing transportation alternatives, or highway safety improvements.

“Whether it’s in the development stage or the delivery stage, it takes time for the city to go through the through the use of the funds,” Fitzpatrick said.

Fitzpatrick says that’s why it appears as the money is unspent, when in reality it’s all just in the works still because these projects take time. He says there’s a lag for it all to come together.

“That doesn’t necessarily mean that the projects aren’t advancing, it just takes considerable amount of time to go through the process,” Fitzpatrick said.

He says the Belmont Bridge project in Charlottesville is a significant project and is considered the biggest in the district, and one of the larger ones in the commonwealth.

NBC29 also reached out to the city to hear its update on the progress of these projects and the money that appears as “unspent,” and did not hear back.

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