Del. Landes visits Staunton, talks about resolutions to I-81 problems

STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) — Virginia Delegate Steve Landes (R-25th) was in Staunton Wednesday, visiting the Virginia Department of Transportation's Transportation Operations Center and joining the safety service patrol for a ride along.

Landes says the new technology the traffic operation center has is helping to identify problem areas on our local highways, like interstates 81, 64 and 66. He says they're also finding ways to help people avoid those areas when crashes do happen and to get first responders on the scene quickly.

While a lot of improvements are being made, Landes says there is still a lot that needs to be done that the state can't do alone.

"Asking your federal legislators, what are they going to do? If the state does it's share, what is the federal government going to do?" Landes said. "Because we still have a two billion dollar need for just improvements that need to be made out there, and we really could use the federal government's help."

He says VDOT is being innovative to work in the most cost effective way possible.

VDOT has greatly increased the number of cameras they have to monitor the local highways. Landes says after talking to more and more people, many seem to be in favor of tolls to help raise that money.

"I'm more in favor of looking at tolling if we're looking at trucks and cars and how we'd do that," Landes said, "but at the same time, want to look for how we can protect the local commuter and providing them an opportunity to maybe not have to pay a toll or maybe have a smaller fee."

He says he believes there will be help on the way soon and drivers should see some improvements.