Without the infrastructure to support the efficient movement of people, goods and services, Northern Virginia will not be able to experience the exponential growth it has in past decades into the future. A critical piece of legislation, the Virginia Public-Private Transportation Act (PPTA), is delivering important transportation and economic outcomes in Northern Virginia. In the upcoming General Assembly, it is critical that our legislators resist any attempts to alter the PPTA.
This successful piece of legislation made possible a $2 billion overhaul for the Capital Beltway on time and under budget. In addition to 14 miles of new road and 50 new bridges and overpasses, construction of the Express Lanes supported 11,800 jobs and generated $2.7 billion in economic benefit for the Washington Metropolitan Area. During construction, the 95 Express Lanes will support 12,600 additional jobs, generating even more economic benefit for the region.
In addition to creating jobs and boosting the economy, the 495 Express Lanes have transformed travel in Northern Virginia — creating new options, improving access to popular destinations and opening the region to further growth. As a direct result of the PPTA, Northern Virginia has an improved transportation network, new transit services and first time HOV access on the Capital Beltway. The PPTA also helps Virginia leverage private investment to deliver more with every tax dollar so the Commonwealth can direct scarce resources to other projects in the region and state.
To attract businesses, we need robust and efficient infrastructure. Keeping the PPTA in tact will ensure Northern Virginia has the infrastructure it needs to grow and remain competitive. I encourage you to join the Chamber and the Northern Virginia businesses community in encouraging the General Assembly to preserve this valuable tool and help our region to continue to compete and attract new businesses.
Jim Corcoran is the president and chief executive of the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce, which represents 650 businesses and nearly 500,000 jobs in Fairfax County and Northern Virginia.