ROANOKE, Va. – Gov. Ralph Northam spent the day after the approval of his Interstate 81 funding plan traveling down the highway to Roanoke.
"It's a reality that I-81 has just become very congested, unsafe and inefficient," Northam said. "We just couldn't wait any longer."
The plan approved by lawmakers Wednesday would raise $151 million for I-81 improvements through an increase in truck registration fees and a gas tax increase for businesses beside the highway.
"I'm just proud of our legislators for coming to the table," Northam said. "These are always difficult votes for some people, but the bottom line is they came to the table yesterday and did what was in the best interest for Virginia, and I commend them for that."
Northam spoke at two conferences inside the Hotel Roanoke on Thursday afternoon while mentioning all he has done for Virginia. He says the I-81 plan's approval shows he can still lead Virginia even after February's blackface controversy.
"I think yesterday was a good example that yes, we can," Northam said. "We'll continue to govern well. I was elected to be the governor and we got a lot of good things done."