HB1124: Street maintenance payments; provides for increased payments where traffic volumes exceed average.

Offered January 13, 2010
Prefiled January 13, 2010
A BILL to amend and reenact § 33.1-41.1 of the Code of Virginia, relating to highway maintenance payments to municipalities.
Patron-- Keam

Committee Referral Pending

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That § 33.1-41.1 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:

§ 33.1-41.1. Payments to cities and certain towns for maintenance of certain highways.

The Commonwealth Transportation Commissioner, subject to the approval of the Commonwealth Transportation Board, shall make payments for maintenance, construction, or reconstruction of highways, as hereinafter provided, to all cities and towns eligible for allocation of construction funds for urban highways under § 33.1-23.3. Such payments, however, shall only be made if those highways functionally classified as principal and minor arterial roads are maintained to a standard satisfactory to the Department of Transportation. Whenever any city or town qualifies under this section for allocation of funds, such qualification shall continue to apply to such city or town regardless of any subsequent change in population and shall cease to apply only when so specifically provided by an act of the General Assembly. All allocations made prior to July 1, 2001, to cities and towns meeting the criteria of the foregoing provisions of this section are hereby confirmed.

No payments shall be made by the Commissioner to any such city or town unless the portion of the highway for which such payment is made either (a) has (i) an unrestricted right-of-way at least 50 feet wide and (ii) a hard-surface width of at least 30 feet; or (b) has (i) an unrestricted right-of-way at least 80 feet wide, (ii) a hard-surface width of at least 24 feet, and (iii) approved engineering plans for the ultimate construction of an additional hard-surface width of at least 24 feet within the same right-of-way; or (c) (i) is a cul-de-sac, (ii) has an unrestricted right-of-way at least 40 feet wide, and (iii) has a turnaround that meets applicable standards set by the Department of Transportation; or (d) either (i) has been paved and has constituted part of the primary or secondary system of state highways prior to annexation or incorporation or (ii) has constituted part of the secondary system of state highways prior to annexation or incorporation and is paved to a minimum width of 16 feet subsequent to such annexation or incorporation and with the further exception of streets or portions thereof which have previously been maintained under the provisions of § 33.1-79 or § 33.1-82; or (e) was eligible for and receiving such payments under the laws of the Commonwealth in effect on June 30, 1985; or (f) is a street established prior to July 1, 1950, which has an unrestricted right-of-way width of not less than 30 feet and a hard-surface width of not less than 16 feet; or (g) is a street functionally classified as a local street and constructed on or after January 1, 1996, which at the time of approval by the city or town met the criteria for pavement width and right-of-way of the then-current edition of the subdivision street requirements manual for secondary roads of the Department of Transportation (24 VAC 30-90-10 et seq.); (h) is a street previously eligible to receive street payments that is located in the City of Norfolk and the City of Richmond and is closed to public travel, pursuant to legislation enacted by the governing body of the city in which it is located, for public safety reasons, within the boundaries of a publicly funded housing development owned and operated by the local housing authority; or (i) is a local street, otherwise eligible, containing one or more physical protuberances placed within the right-of-way for the purpose of controlling the speed of traffic.

However, the Commissioner may waive the requirements as to hard-surface pavement or right-of-way width for highways where the width modification is at the request of the local governing body and is to protect the quality of the affected local government's drinking water supply or, for highways constructed on or after July 1, 1994, to accommodate some other special circumstance where such action would not compromise the health, safety, or welfare of the public. The modification is subject to such conditions as the Commissioner may prescribe.

For the purpose of calculating allocations and making payments under this section, the Department shall divide affected highways into two categories, which shall be distinct from but based on functional classifications established by the Federal Highway Administration: (i) principal and minor arterial roads and (ii) collector roads and local streets. Payments to affected localities shall be based on the number of moving-lane-miles of highways or portions thereof available to peak-hour traffic in each category of highways in that locality. For the fiscal year 1986, payment to each city and town shall be an amount equal to $7,787 per moving-lane-mile for principal and minor arterials and $4,572 per moving-lane-mile for collector roads and local streets. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, the per-moving-lane-mile payment for any highway where the average daily traffic volume exceeds the statewide average daily traffic volume for a comparable highway by more than 20 percent shall be increased by 20 percent.

The Department of Transportation shall establish a statewide maintenance index of the unit costs for labor, equipment, and materials used on roads and bridges in the fiscal year 1986, and use changes in that index to calculate and put into effect annual changes in the base per-lane-mile rate payable under this section.

The fund allocated by the Board shall be paid in equal sums in each quarter of the fiscal year, and no payment shall be made without the approval of the Board.

The chief administrative officer of the city or town receiving this fund shall make annual categorical reports of expenditures to the Board, in such form as the Board shall prescribe, accounting for all expenditures, certifying that none of the money received has been expended for other than maintenance, construction or reconstruction of the streets, and reporting on their performance as specified in subdivision B 3 of § 33.1-23.02. Such reports shall be included in the scope of the annual audit of each municipality conducted by independent certified public accountants.