Wednesday, July 7, 2010

McDonnell Proposes Rest-Area Savings Strategy

When Bob McDonnell campaigned for Governor he promised to open the 19 rest areas that then-Governor Tim Kaine had closed. In April he fulfilled that promise and opened all of them. Virginia's rest areas serve 30 million people annually, and are therefore very important to maintain and keep open. With this in mind Gov. McDonnell has proposed his strategy on cost savings:

1) Reduce contracting costs when existing maintenance and operations contracts are scheduled to expire in December.

2) Try to attract private sponsors by bundling interstate highway signage, interior advertising space and vending.

3) Use grants to establish partnerships between the state and tourism organizations along Virginia's interstates, particularly at interchanges where scenic attractions could be promoted.

Gov. McDonnell is also waiting on a study by the Virginia Transportation Research Council to identify alternatives to the public funding of the interstate rest areas.

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