Transportation reform from house bill 2313 has allowed the Virginia Department of Transportation 15.7 billion dollars to invest in transportation needs around the state.
Currently the Salem District has 451 million dollars tied up in current contracts such as interstate paving and construction on Elm Avenue in Roanoke.
Talking transportation folks came out Wednesday night from all over the area including Montgomery, Roanoke, Henry and Bedford counties, all with ideas in mind on work that needs to be done to improve roads and rails here at home.
Annie Pollard with the board of supervisors in Bedford County spoke on the dangers of the S-curves through route 460 in Montvale.
"The problems on this stretch of road has worsened over time," Pollard said.
In the past three years alone, three dangerous tanker truck accidents have happened on this stretch of road, one which lead to the death of a young driver and thousands of diesel fuel which spilled into a nearby creek. The east bound lane of 460 was closed for nearly five months after.
"And there's no doubt the cost it was a hefty one," Pollard said.
Another push came from the Mayor of Clifton Forge to finish the road widening project on Route 220.
A project Mayor Carl Brinkley says VDOT left unfinished.
The conversation then turned from roads to rails, after recent announcements of passenger rail service stretching from Lynchburg to Roanoke. Folks are hoping to expand those tracks to the New River Valley. Ken Anderson of Blacksburg says its another option for those wanting to avoid dangerous traffic.
"They could catch the train from Christiansburg or Radford," Anderson said. " They could ride all the way to Boston. That would be great."
All costly options deserving of consideration, as VDOT prioritizes work that needs to be done.
An event that brought thousands of people to Salem this year is coming back next year. Tickets go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. for the Blue Ridge Music Festival.