Every year, Virginia’s Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) develops a list of projects that are slated for funding over the next six years. This document is called the Six-Year Improvement Program (SYIP).
The CTB guides the work of the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) much like a board of directors. The Virginia Secretary of Transportation serves as chairman of the 17-member CTB, which also includes the commissioner of VDOT and the director of the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (VDRPT), which provides technical and financial assistance to Virginia’s public transit, ridesharing and railroad operations
Visit the CTB's Public Comment page.
Visit the VDOT Public Comment page.
Public Information Meetings
Every fall, the CTB conducts public information meetings before developing their Six-Year Transportation Improvement Program (SYIP). These meetings happen in each of VDOT’s nine districts, including Northern Virginia. At these fall forums, VDOT presents the public with a list of potential projects— and anticipated costs —that might be included in the new SYIP. This list of candidate projects typically includes projects that have been started or delayed, as well as projects deemed to be local or regional priorities.
Click here for a schedule of the SYIP Public Meetings.
CTB Priority Setting
Working with the staff of VDOT, the CTB develops a draft SYIP in the winter. This draft is based upon public feedback, projected funding available (federal and state) and needs identified through technical analysis. At this point in the process, the draft SYIP is reconciled in broad terms to anticipated revenues and costs.
The SYIP allocates money for transportation studies and projects that are proposed for implementation (including engineering and right-of-way acquisition) and construction in the next six fiscal years. In developing the SYIP, the CTB considers the priorities identified in statewide plans, as well as the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority’s “TransAction 2040.”
The Appropriation Act
Every two years in the spring, the General Assembly approves funding for transportation in a two-year Appropriation Act. The Virginia General Assembly approves the transportation budget through the two-year (biennial) Appropriation Act, which contains all statewide funding. This legislation is approved every two years (in even numbered years). After the first year of the biennial budget cycle is completed, the General Assembly has an opportunity to amend the budget.
The Appropriation Act generally allocates funding for broad transportation categories, not for individual projects. The revenues in the Appropriations Act are largely based upon estimates provided in the Governor’s Budget Bill. The estimates for transportation revenues in the Budget Bill are prepared by the Department of Taxation and the Virginia Department of Transportation.
Find out about Virginia’s Appropriation Act.
Finalizing the Six-Year Program
In late spring (usually in April and May) VDOT staff, in coordination with the CTB, develops a final draft Six-Year Improvement Program (SYIP) based upon finalized budget information from the Appropriations Act. Funding for the first two years of the SYIP is based upon the two-year Appropriation Act approved by the General Assembly. The funds for the remaining four years of the SYIP are based upon revenue forecasts.
A draft SYIP is released for public comment in April/May. According to Virginia law, the CTB must approve a final SYIP by June 30 since the Commonwealth’s fiscal year begins on July 1.
"Pedestrian / Pavillion Bridge, Silver Line" by Fairfax County on Flickr.