Virginia Department of Transportation

Find Virginia department of transportation, highway, roads, and bridge departments. Transportation departments provide information on public transport, including road, highway and bridge traffic, conditions, closures, tolls and travel information.



What is the Department of Transportation?

A Department of Transportation is a state or federal agency whose mission is to plan for and develop a fast, efficient, accessible, and convenient transportation system and infrastructure that effectively serves the citizenry and promotes economic vitality.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) is a cabinet-level department headed by the Secretary of Transportation. The department is comprised of eleven offices and administrations primarily organized around modes of transportation. Much of what USDOT does is regulatory in nature. For example, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration develops regulations for motor vehicle safety and for fuel efficiency standards. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration regulates the nation's pipeline infrastructure and shipments of hazardous material by land, sea, and air.

The USDOT is a major source of funding for transportation capital projects, especially transit and highway projects. The Surface Transportation Program provides state and local governments approximately $10 billion annually in flexible funding for a wide range of improvements as well as capital planning purposes. Other significant USDOT grant programs include Airport Improvement Program grants based on the national plan of integrated airports, National Scenic Byways Program grants, and Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement grants.

At the state level, Departments of Transportation are responsible for maintaining and improving transportation infrastructure, including state roads and highways, bridges, airports, ports and waterways, public transit systems, and railways. Infrastructure maintenance often involves emergency response to accidents, disasters, and inclement weather such as winter storms. The state Department of Transportation manages the allocation of federal funding for transportation capital improvements and the use of any state funding sources dedicated for transportation purposes, such as toll proceeds and fuel taxes.

State Departments of Transportation establish design standards for transportation infrastructure projects and approve county and local projects before they are constructed. State Departments of Transportation also distribute grant funds to county and local governments for local projects.

State Departments of Transportation actively collaborate with universities or other partnering organizations to conduct research and evaluate innovations to transportation systems, such as new construction materials or design methods. Some states have begun participating in research on autonomous vehicles.