An Analysis of Secondary Road Maintenance Payments to Henrico and Arlington Counties with the December 2001 Update

Report No: 02-R9

Published in 2002

About the report:

In 1986, 33.1-23.5:1 of the Code of Virginia established new rates for payments to Henrico and Arlington counties to maintain their secondary roads and specified how the rates were to be adjusted annually. The rates specified for 1986 maintenance payments were $3,616 per lane mile for Henrico County and $7,201 per lane mile for Arlington County. Rates were to be adjusted annually thereafter using a maintenance cost index. In spring of the year 2000, in deliberations over the Appropriations Act for the 2000-2002 biennium, Virginia's General Assembly discussed the need for a study of transportation allocations to localities, focusing especially on Henrico and Arlington counties. Subsequently, House Bill 30 directed that "[t]he Department of Transportation shall review the formulas used in determining the financial assistance to localities distributions [sic] and make recommendations to the Commonwealth Transportation Board as to the appropriate allocations based on that review." In April 2000, the director of public works for Henrico County made a presentation to the Commonwealth Transportation Board's Finance Committee in which he argued that the county's secondary maintenance allocation was insufficient (County of Henrico, 2000). In the presentation, maintenance rates for Henrico County were compared with various data sets, including average urban rates in each of VDOT's nine construction districts; the statewide average urban rate; individual urban rates in VDOT's Richmond District; and rates for cities argued to be comparable to Henrico County. In response, the Commonwealth Transportation Board agreed to a temporary increase in Henrico County's rate per lane mile for FY 01 from $5,720 to $8,581. This increased the county's FY 01 total secondary road maintenance allocation from $17.3 million to $25.9 million. The purpose of the analysis documented in this report was to respond to the requirements set forth in House Bill 30. Because of the legislative history regarding the language in the bill, the analysis was limited to maintenance payments to Henrico and Arlington counties. To complete the analysis, data on maintenance expenditures and allocations, lane miles, population, local economic conditions, and other factors were collected for all counties and cities with a population over 20,000 in the Commonwealth.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


Other Authors

Robert A. Hanson, Cheryl A. Kyte, Amy A. O'Leary, Ph.D.

Last updated: December 4, 2023

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