Virginia firms up commitment to Norfolk light rail extension

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NORFOLK, Va. – Virginia Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne said this week that the state's previous commitment of as much as $155 million in matching funds for an extension of Norfolk’s light rail line to Virginia Beach will be provided no matter the cost of the project. Layne also said and that as much as $30 million in low-interest loans will be made available through the Virginia Transportation Infrastructure Bank, the Virginian Pilot reports.

The state has said it will fund 50 percent of the project, up to $155 million. Layne says the state will now provide $155 million regardless of the final cost, so the state’s share will exceed 50 percent if the final cost comes in below $310 million.

The Virginia Beach city council is expected to vote as soon as next month on its preferred option for bringing the light rail line from Norfolk. The most likely scenario involves a roughly 3.1-mile extension from Newtown Road to Town Center. Hampton Roads Transit has estimated the capital cost of that option to be $327 million, including $11 million for additional buses to feed the new light rail line.

Layne says that state transit grants could be sought to help pay for the new buses.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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