Joan Morris 703-259-1799


Jan. 8, 2010

Feds concur with VDOT’s project cost of $676 million

CHANTILLY—It’s official: the Virginia Department of Transportation’s (VDOT’s) eight-year construction project to improve safety and ease congestion at the Springfield Interchange was completed within its budget of $676 million. 

In a letter to VDOT Commissioner David Ekern, the Federal Highway Administration said a final review of the project concurs with VDOT’s documented expenditures of $658,667,000 for the project plus $17,590,000 to cover contractor claims. 

“In 2003, after the project’s cost had increased dramatically, VDOT promised that the final budget would not exceed $676,276,000,” said Commissioner Ekern.  “The Federal Highway Administration has now completed a comprehensive review of our expenditures and agrees that the project came in on budget.” 

When construction began in March 1999, VDOT estimated the project cost at $350 million. Costs quickly escalated, however, in part due to changes in contract conditions for utilities, contract claims and delays in building the Beltway over one of the most heavily traveled rail corridors in the nation.  The project’s low estimate led to a major shift in the way VDOT does business including a revamping of its Six-Year Improvement Program to ensure that it is realistic and credible, and the creation of “Dashboard,” an online performance reporting system for projects and programs.

In November 2002 the U.S. Department of Transportation’s inspector general recommended VDOT develop a comprehensive financial plan for the project, with detailed cost estimates to both finance and complete the project.  VDOT developed an accurate accounting of costs incurred and a realistic estimate of costs based on engineers’ estimates and construction cost-escalation factors.  The FHWA approved VDOT’s comprehensive financial plan for the project in January 2003. 

In 2003 the General Assembly approved legislation requiring detailed financial plans for any transportation project over $100 million.

The Springfield Interchange Improvement project was completed on time in July 2007 and involved building more than 50 bridges and ramps to make it safer and easier to navigate.  It has brought tangible congestion relief to motorists who travel one of the busiest interchanges on the East Coast.


Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.

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