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The Commonwealth Transportation Board yesterday approved a six-year, $18.6 billion improvement program for the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT).The allocation will cover more than 3,600 projects that will improve highways, roads, bridges, rail, transit and bicycle and pedestrian paths across the state over the next six fiscal years.Rail and transit projects are budgeted to receive $3.4 billion, including $817 million for rail initiatives and $2.6 billion for public transportation.Meanwhile, Virginia officials announced DRPT's annual budget for fiscal-year 2018 will be $689 million. The majority of the funds will go toward grant recipients, including public transportation providers, local and regional government entities, freight railroads, and Amtrak.More than 50 percent of those funds are dedicated to capital improvement projects. Of the total DRPT annual budget, $429 million will go toward public transportation; $207.3 million to passenger- and freight-rail programs; $1.6 million to rail industrial access programs; and $7.8 million toward rail preservation programs.