Before VDOT can begin the studies to determine how best to proceed~ Superstructure Replacement or New Bridge~ the Norris Bridge project must be funded.
Replacement at $400 million makes most sense because:
Any rating less than [5/9] is categorically "Structurally Deficient."
With an all time high sufficiency rating of 45.9, the Bridge has been a Federal Highway Administration specified "Candidate for Replacement" since 1991 [when the sufficiency rating was 9/100 for three years running].
Route 3 is Significant to the Economy of the Northern Neck.
This is made plain in the VDOT Study finalized May 2016
“Route 3 Northern Neck Corridor Improvements Study”
"An efficient Route 3 will be Instrumental in determining the future of the Northern Neck...."
'Torture’ various economic data numbers any which way but the economy on the Northern Neck is 'tanking' as demonstrated by the simple economic benchmark of commercial truck volume:
"While overall vehicular volumes have been generally stale little or no growth,
the most recent truck volumes tell a story of
a major dip in commerce, economic well-being and employment. "
Most of Route 3 has a fairly high efficiency or "Level of Service" except at the
Robert O. Norris Bridge:
"Transportation Remains an obstacle to
Dilemma of Taxation and Economic Development:
A significant number of residents on the Northern Neck pay little or No State Tax
Lancaster County is the 5th oldest County in America
The average taxpayer on the Northern Neck might look like this:
Population 65 and Older:
[no one is suggesting we tax retirees; this is a simple reality check]
Population under 18:
On the Northern Neck the population under 18 is 22%.
25% 65 or older + 22% 18 or younger = 47% of the population on the Northern Neck
This means 47% of the population pays almost ZERO State taxes without even taking into considering those on assistance programs who generally are not subject to taxation.
The net effect of this is worse in Lancaster and Northumberland County, a little better in Westmoreland and Richmond County.
A GOOD "SECOND JOB" FOR THE NORTHERN NECK: TOURISM
Tourism is great as a 'second job' but in no way can it provide the economic output or Tax revenue necessary to support Economic or Community Development.
In 2013-2014 the five counties [including King George] of the Northern Neck generated:
For the Leadership of a community the largest ROI for Community Development is in increasing:
This will not happen without a major investments in infrastructure in the region.
Conversations for investment in the region go nowhere until there are compelling changes to introduce into the conversation with investors and stakeholders on the Northern Neck.
A Modernized or Replaced Robert O. Norris Bridge: