On August 3, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Salem District announced the Town of Christiansburg as its Locality of the Year. This award signifies the Christiansburg Engineering Department’s hard work, effort and commitment to delivering transportation projects for Christiansburg residents.
In 2018, the Salem District’s Locally Administered Projects Team created the award to encourage local governments who administer transportation projects to improve delivery of VDOT-funded projects. Successful delivery of locality-administered projects is critical because these projects comprise more than 50 percent of the statewide Six-Year Improvement Program, which is determined by SMART Scale results.
SMART Scale is a method of scoring planned projects submitted by localities to the state that is based on an objective-outcome process. It scores localities’ proposed projects based on need in that specific area so that taxpayer monies can be more fairly distributed across the state. If a SMART Scale project has been awarded to a locality, the chosen project is funded by VDOT and given to the locality to administer.
The Locality of the Year Award is scored on three factors:
- Participation in quarterly conference calls, training opportunities, and local and statewide workshops;
- Proficiency with project applications, agreements, plan submittals and documentation; and
- Performance related to the number of projects completed and project stages completed on schedule, a metric which is tracked in VDOT’s Dashboard 4.0 system, which monitors localities’ project progress.
Additional focus in these three areas not only improves a locality’s chance of winning but also improves their performance in managing the development and delivery of transportation projects.
This year’s award was presented virtually, due to COVID-19 restrictions. In a YouTube Live video, Programming and Investment Management Director Anthony Ford said Christiansburg scored 64 points out of 68, and out of nearly 30 localities, Christiansburg has been very competitive every year VDOT has awarded Locality of the Year. Ford recognized the Christiansburg Engineering Department’s commitment to bettering their program and improving the delivery of their VDOT-funded projects.
Delivering locally-administered projects successfully gives localities’ credibility with taxpayers, legislators and contractors. These performance metrics help ensure that projects will be completed efficiently.
Commonwealth Transportation Board Salem District Member Dr. Raymond Smoot, Jr. said during the YouTube Live video that recognizing Christiansburg is important because it emphasizes delivering projects on time and on budget. Smoot focused on the fact that Christiansburg managed projects totaling nearly $10 million this past year, contributing significantly to facilitating transportation in our region.
Some of the projects worked on by Christiansburg this past year include:
- North Franklin Corridor Improvement Project,
- Chrisman Mill Crossing,
- Depot Park Trail Extension,
- Arbor Drive Sidewalk Extension,
- Roanoke Street Sidewalk Extension,
- Huckleberry Trail, Phase 3,
- Primary Extension Paving of Radford Street,
- Falling Branch Intersection Improvements,
- North Franklin Drainage Improvements, and
- Hans Meadow Drainage Improvements.