Earlier this week, VDOT hosted a seminar on snow removal in Virginia. Here are some of the highlights:
VDOT (NOVA) is responsible for 17,737 lane miles in Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties (Arlington County maintains its own secondary roads). About half of those miles are highways, and half are neighborhood streets. In northern Virginia, VDOT has one snow removal program for interstates and high-volume roads such as routes 1, 7, 15, 28, 50, and the Fairfax County Parkway, and another program for subdivisions. During winter weather, crews work on both concurrently.
The budget for last year’s winter was $63 million, but $152 million was spent. This year’s budget is $52 million. This comes out of the overall statewide maintenance budget of approximately $1.5 billion.
Once again, you can track your snowplow online! Once is snows over 2 inches, you can get on vdotplows.org to monitor the status of plowing. All you need to do is enter your address and a color-coded snow map pops up and shows whether plowing is underway, completed or not yet started in your neighborhood.
This year there are more than 4,000 trucks and plows available. All are equipped with automatic vehicle locator (AVL) equipment (so you can track your snow plow).
VDOT’s Winter Resources
Yesterday, Virginia FREE released its 2014 General Assembly Evaluations. Delegate Albo received a rating of 91.9 percent and tied for fifth amongst his colleagues in the House of Delegates. Virginia FREE was founded in 1988 with the objective of providing the business community with non-partisan information on the voting records of all General Assembly legislators. The organization’s evaluation process consists of three components: the selection of business-related legislation to be scored, grading the pro-business performance of each legislator, and calculating a final annual grade. If you would like to view the 2014 House Evaluations, click here.
Despite multiple promises from President Obama, as many as 250,000 Virginians and millions of Americans had health care plans cancelled under the Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare).
To help with this issue, the House of Delegates passed legislation on Monday to allow insurance companies to renew in 2015 health insurance plans that were cancelled under the ACA.
House Bill 5011 “authorizes health carriers to offer to renew any health benefit plan that would otherwise be required to be canceled, discontinued, or terminated because it does not meet the requirements of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”
The House of Delegates passed similar legislation, HB 1147, earlier in 2014. Unfortunately, the first bill was killed by the Senate. Unfortunately because of the delay, some insurance companies may not reauthorize plans that were cancelled under Obamacare. However, I believe strongly they should have the opportunity to do so, and hope they make those plans available to customers.
For more information on House Bill 5011, please click here.
If you’ve driven on I-95 lately, you’ve likely seen construction crews working to convert the existing HOV system to an Express Lanes system.
The 95 Express Lanes – expected to open in December – are 29 miles of high occupancy toll (HOT) lanes spanning from Edsall Road in Fairfax County to Garrisonville Road in Stafford County. The lanes will bring many benefits to carpoolers, but will also mean changes to your current 95 travel. Here’s what carpoolers need to know:
- You’ll need an E-ZPass Flex: To travel toll-free on the 95 Express Lanes, you need three or more people in your vehicle and an E-ZPass Flex set to HOV mode
- E-ZPass Flex is available online and at the following locations:
- AAA Mid-Atlantic locations
- Select DMV, Giant and Wegmans locations in Northern Virginia
- E-ZPass Customer Service Centers
- By calling E-ZPass at 877-762-7824
- Already have an E-ZPass? You can swap it for an E-ZPass Flex. Just follow the instructions at www.ezpassva.com/EZPages/Get-Flex.aspx
Get ready to use the lanes today and visit 95ExpressLanes.com for more information.
I would like to say thank you to all of our service men and women, past and present. We appreciate the sacrifices that both you and your families make every day.
Yesterday, I attended the Veteran’s Day ceremony at my son’s elementary school. Many years ago I initiated a program that each school would teach something about Veterans’ contributions to our country each Veteran’s Day. I am pleased that our schools are doing just that. After the elementary school event, I went to the American Legion/VFW Ceremony. I have not missed one in 20 years!
Some VA state agencies will be closed. For instance, all DMV offices are closed on Tuesday, November 11, in observance of the Veterans Day holiday. But you can visit DMV’s Online Services to access many available transactions.
My office will be open! Please give us a call if we can help you with anything (703) 451-3555.
Remember the polls are open until 7:00 PM. Visit vote.gop.com to find your polling location.
I had a great time at the Newington Forest polls this morning with my new friend, Ms. Yanez!
I would like to inform you of the National Capital Lyme Disease Association’s Lyme Disease Awareness Forum, which will be taking place at Fairfax High School on Tuesday, October 21st from 7-9 PM. The event is completely free to all who wish to attend. Click the link to see the forum flyer.