Almost $20 million will go to new VRE railcars. Image from BeyondDC.

For years, leaders in Northern Virginia have been asking Richmond to let Northern Virginia raise its own money to spend on its own transportation priorities. They are finally getting the chance.

When the Virginia General Assembly passed a broad new transportation funding bill earlier this year, it included a section letting Northern Virginia raise and allocate hundreds of millions per year. Those new taxes began rolling in on July 1, with the beginning of Virginia fiscal year 2014.

On Wednesday night, the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) officially approved its first set of projects. The authority allocated about $210 million, split roughly evenly between transit and roads.

The largest projects include the Silver Line’s Innovation Center Metro station, new VRE railcars, and widenings along Route 28.

NVTA also approved a bond validation lawsuit that will preemptively ask Virginia courts to rule on NVTA’s legality. That process should take 6-9 months, and NVTA will have to wait until it’s over to actually start spending money. Taking the issue to court now means NVTA won’t have to spend years fending off other court challenges.

The project list is below. For more details, see the project description sheets on NVTA’s website.

Project Funding (millions) Location
Transit and multimodal projects
Innovation Center Metro station $41   Fairfax Co.
VRE railcars $19.8 Regional
VRE Lorton station 2nd platform $7.9 Fairfax Co.
WMATA buses $7   Regional
WMATA Orange Line traction power upgrades for 8-car trains $5   Regional
DASH buses $3.3 Alexandria
Potomac Yard Metro station environmental study $2   Alexandria
Crystal City multimodal center bus bays $1.5 Arlington
VRE Gainesville extension planning $1.5 Regional
VRE Alexandria station pedestrian tunnel & platform improvements $1.3 Alexandria
Herndon Metro station access improvements (road, bus, bike/ped) $1.1 Fairfax Co.
ART buses $1   Arlington
Leesburg park and ride $1   Loudoun
Loudoun County Transit buses $0.9 Loudoun
Route 7 Tysons-to-Alexandria transit alternatives analysis (phase 2) $0.8 Regional
Falls Church pedestrian access to transit $0.7 Falls Church
Duke Street transit signal priority $0.7 Alexandria
PRTC bus $0.6 Prince William
Alexandria bus shelters & real-time information $0.5 Alexandria
Van Buren pedestrian bridge $0.3 Falls Church
Falls Church bus shelters $0.2 Falls Church
Road projects
Rt 28 - Linton Hall to Fitzwater Dr $28   Prince William
Rt 28 - Dulles to Rt 50 $20   Fairfax Co.
Belmont Ridge Road north of Dulles Greenway $20   Loudoun
Columbia Pike multimodal improvements (roadway, sidewalk, utilities) $12   Arlington
Rt 28 - McLearen to Dulles $11.1 Fairfax Co.
Rt 28 - Loudoun “hot spots” $6.4 Loudoun
Chain Bridge Road widening $5   Fairfax City
Boundary Channel Dr interchange $4.3 Arlington
Rt 1 - Featherstone Rd to Mary’s Way $3   Prince William
Edwards Ferry Rd interchange $1   Loudoun
Herndon Parkway intersection with Van Buren St $0.5 Fairfax Co.
Herndon Parkway intersection with Sterling Rd $0.5 Fairfax Co.

Cross-posted at BeyondDC.