Norfolk – With The Port of Virginia as his backdrop, Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe today (Nov. 22) announced that Aubrey Layne will serve as the Commonwealth's next secretary of transportation.
The announcement was attended by media, transportation industry representatives, mayors from the cities of Portsmouth, Virginia beach, Norfolk and Chesapeake.
The following is a transcript of Layne's remarks:
"I am honored to accept Governor-elect McAuliffe's offer to become Virginia's next Secretary of Transportation.
Although my education and professional background have been primarily in real estate and accounting, I have devoted much time over the past four years to learning about Virginia's road system as one of Hampton Roads' representatives on the Commonwealth Transportation Board. I also serve today as chairman of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel Commission.
In both of these roles, and in interactions with state and local elected officials, regional planners, VDOT, road builders and many other parties, I have become well versed in the great needs we have across the Commonwealth in transportation. I have gained a strong appreciation for how important our roads, bridges and tunnels are to our economy. Therefore, I am very humbled by the responsibility that is before me and others who labor in this arena.
Yes, I am from Hampton Roads and am very keen to bring to the state capital a deeper understanding of the challenges we face every day in crossing rivers and bays and connecting citizens to their jobs, shopping and entertainment. The demand for adequate highways also impacts on our critical port facilities, including the one here in Norfolk, which also fall under the purview of the Secretary of Transportation.
But I am just as concerned about the major traffic and congestion issues that face residents in Northern Virginia, a major economic engine for our state. They will have a willing ear in my office. Likewise Virginia has a significant role in the movement of goods, services, commuters and families in Richmond and Roanoke, Waynesboro and Winchester, Caroline and Carroll counties and dozens of other localities in the Commonwealth.
We need to provide diligent representation for the taxpayers. We must do what we can to get cars off the road by investing in passenger rail and light rail. It's not going to be easy. Resources are tight, but the passage of legislation in 2014 to put new money into transportation for the first time in nearly three decades means the next transportation secretary will have more flexibility than his predecessors.
So thank you Terry for your confidence, and I pledge to bring my energies, experience and enthusiasm to this post."
The announcement was made at Norfolk International Terminals.
Above: Layne, at the podium, has served as Hampton Roads representative on the Commonwealth Transportation Board. Governor-elect McAuliffe, right, said he will support those regional transportation projects that will help the port prosper.