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VDOT will start winding down projects May 1 if state budget isn’t passed

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RICHMOND, Va (WTVR)- Will the state budget battle force the Virginia Department of Transportation to stop working on road construction projects in the Richmond area?

VDOT says it began notifying contractors Friday to be prepared to stop work if the budget impasse extends into May.

This could affect more than 470 project across the commonwealth, including the I-95 bridge project and the construction of the new Huguenot bridge in Richmond.

Local lawmakers are speaking out about VDOT announcement.

The Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus sent CBS6 a release saying the following, “In 2004 and 2006 when budget negotiations went on much longer, VDOT did not issue this order. Either Governor McDonnell is not as adept as managing state government as previous governors, or he is using VDOT for political purposes. We suspect the latter."

Governor McDonnell’s office says that is incorrect.

Spokesman Tucker Martin says in 2004, VDOT did go through the planning process of suspending projects.

Martian also said,  “First Senate Democrats killed both budgets because they wanted more committee seats. Now, their posturing is threatening billions in road projects statewide. Enough with the politics. Let's get a budget passed and roads built and our teachers paid.”

Should the state budget be approved Tuesday all projects will continue uninterrupted.