WASHINGTON - Municipalities throughout Virginia will receive a share of nearly $155 million in state funds to help with infrastructure projects, Gov. Bob McDonnell announced Friday.

The Commonwealth Transportation Board approved the state matching funds through Virginia’s revenue sharing program, to which localities apply for infrastructure funding help each year. The Virginia Department of Transportation recommends projects to receive the state money, and the CTB approves them. Eligible spending includes construction, maintenance, and improvements. The state match of local spending will help advance $560 million of transportation projects, McDonnell said.

“Small towns to large urban areas are able to leverage state dollars to make critical transportation improvements in their communities, such as rebuilding roads and bridges, widening roads, installing new traffic signals and repaving roads,” said McDonnell. “The revenue sharing program allows localities and the state to work together to invest transportation dollars where they are needed most.”

CTB chair and transportation secretary Sean Connaughton also stressed the importance of the program for localities that cannot easily tap the market for infrastructure finance.

“The revenue sharing program is a critical funding source for localities to move ahead on their transportation priorities,” Connaughton said. “The state’s contribution advances more than a half billion of transportation projects that will improve safety, ease congestion and make transportation better statewide.”

McDonnell has made transportation funding a major focus of his administration, culminating in the passage earlier this year of a controversial comprehensive transportation law that slashed per-gallon gas taxes in favor of taxes on fuel wholesalers and a bump in the state’s general sales tax.

McDonnell’s office highlighted a number of projects that will receive state money, ranging from surface street improvements in more rural areas to citywide repaving in the commonwealth capital of Richmond.

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