Virginia's Dept. of Transportation issued a press release last week that sounded like it was written by the cat that ate the canary.

They're taking the opportunity to gloat (just a bit) about the fact that because VDOT has its act together, the state was able to secure an additional $52 million in federal funding for transportation projects that was originally allocated to other states.

VDOT spokeswoman Tamara Rollison explained that since those states did not have projects ready to go to use the funding, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) reallocated the money to Virginia and other states that have projects in the pipeline ready for work to begin.

When I called VDOT to ask which states lost the money that landed in VDOT's lap, Tamara Rollison responded with extreme diplomacy. "Every September FHWA takes a sweep to see what funds have been used and what funds are still on the table," she said, adding that she did not know specifically which states lost their allocation.

She explained that Virginia was in a position to benefit from FHWA's largesse because it had projects ready for construction.

Governor Bob McDonnell noted, "This award of 'bonus obligation' funds is validation of VDOT's efforts to ensure transportation projects are programmed and delivered, with more projects ready for construction."

VDOT says it plans to use the money on interstate repaving and rehabilitation projects primarily on segments of I-95 and I-85 in the Richmond region and segments of I-264 in the Hampton Roads region. VDOT will make its recommendation to the Commonwealth Transportation Board which has final approval on how money is spent on the state's transportation infrastructure.

All things considered you might say it's Washington's way of teaching us that the early bird does indeed get the worm. Kudos, Virginia!