Home 2019 Elections Thanks to the Biden Administration and Democrats in Congress for “$729,000,000 in federal...

Thanks to the Biden Administration and Democrats in Congress for “$729,000,000 in federal funding they secured for the Transforming Rail in Virginia Phase 2 projects”

Note that every single Republican member of the VA Congressional delegation voted *against* this funding, yet Youngkin had the gall to show his face this morning...

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From Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA08)’s office – great work by *Democratic* members of Congress and the Biden administration! What about Republicans? Wel…the fact is, EVERY SINGLE Republican U.S. House member from Virginia voted *against* this funding, as did almost every Republican U.S. House member in general. Yet Glenn Youngkin had the audacity to show his face at the ceremony this morning. Typical.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine, Governor Glenn Youngkin, and U.S. Representatives Don Beyer (D-VA-08), Gerry Connolly (D-VA-11), Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07), and Jennifer McClellan (D-VA-04) held an event in Arlington to announce $729,000,000 in federal funding they secured for the Transforming Rail in Virginia (TRV) Phase 2 projects. The funding will support the completion of a new Long Bridge across the Potomac River to connect D.C. and Virginia, make improvements to L’Enfant Station, and lay a third track along key sections of the corridor in Prince William, Stafford, and Spotsylvania Counties. This will help alleviate current bottlenecks, expand capacity, and improve reliability for Virginia commuters, travelers, and freight. The TRV projects will help expand Amtrak and Virginia Railway Express (VRE) rail services between D.C. and Raleigh, North Carolina. In addition to additional service to current destinations, these projects are also a necessary intermediate step for future passenger rail service for the New River Valley and Bristol. The funding was awarded through the Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail Grant Program made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which Warner, Kaine, Beyer, Connolly, and Spanberger helped pass in 2021.

“We’re thrilled we secured federal funding to support the construction of a new Long Bridge across the Potomac River and expand rail capacity and reliability in Virginia,” said Senators Warner and Kaine. “This is another example of how the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is improving transportation networks, reducing congestion, and supporting economic growth in communities across Virginia and the country.”

“This investment will help transform the rail system in Virginia, improving the flow of people and goods not only within the Commonwealth, but up and down the entire East Coast. I appreciate the collaboration between our senators, our congressional delegation, and our Secretary of Transportation to finalize the funding for this critical project this year and get this accomplished expeditiously. This project’s impact on the Commonwealth cannot be overstated — it will ease congestion, make our supply chain more resilient, improve freight movement in and out of our world-class port, and boost local economies,” said Governor Youngkin.

“The funding we announced today is a huge deal for Northern Virginia and the National Capital Region. This grant will support the completion of a new Long Bridge to connect Virginia and Washington, D.C., doubling capacity at a bottleneck for much of the freight rail traffic in the mid-Atlantic and bringing billions of dollars in projected economic benefits,” said Representative Beyer. “Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which I was proud to help pass, this historic infrastructure investment will benefit Virginians by expanding rail capacity, enhancing connectivity, and promoting economic growth. This project is a fantastic example of the good we can do with smart investment and forward-thinking public policy.”

“Today, we celebrate the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in action,” said Representative Connolly. “This is an historic investment in our future and a transformative project for all Virginians that will reduce rail and road congestion, improve commutes, and increase our regional transportation capacity. I am proud to have helped secure this critical funding and I can’t wait to see these federal dollars at work.”

“This federal investment is proof that the bipartisan infrastructure law is continuing to deliver for Virginia’s communities,” said Representative Spanberger. “In Congress, I’ve had the honor of representing Virginians up and down the I-95 corridor. And for years, they have been calling for stronger investments in reliable passenger rail. On behalf of the hundreds of thousands of Virginians I serve, I look forward to seeing these major and historic improvements in action.”

“The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act continues to improve our Commonwealth’s public transportation infrastructure and strengthen the capacity and resiliency of our passenger and freight rail network,” said Representative McClellan. “Virginia Democrats called on the Department of Transportation to support the Long Bridge Project. Today, we celebrate this robust federal funding, which will have profoundly beneficial impacts in Virginia.”

“This grant is great news for Virginians,” said DJ Stadtler, Executive Director of Virginia Passenger Rail Authority. “The full funding of our Transforming Rail in Virginia Phase II projects, in particular, Long Bridge will result in a transformative increase in rail travel in the Commonwealth and along the East Coast.  VPRA is grateful for the immense support we have received from our Virginia senators and Congressional delegation for this initiative. Their support has been immeasurable.”

The existing Long Bridge is the most significant choke point along the East Coast. It’s the only rail bridge connecting Virginia to D.C. and serves as the main rail connection between the Southeast and Northeast for passenger and freight rail. The Long Bridge expansion is estimated to contribute $1.1 billion annually to the national economy and support 17,750 jobs.

Specifically, the funding will be used for:

  • Long Bridge Project: Design and construct a new Long Bridge between Arlington and D.C., including five rail bridges and two pedestrian/bicycle bridges. Once completed, the four-track corridor will allow for the separation of passenger and freight rail.
  • L’Enfant Fourth Track and Station Improvements: Construct approximately one mile of mainline track through and around L’Enfant Plaza in D.C., VRE’s busiest station, and make improvements to the existing station platform.
  • Neabsco Creek to Woodbridge Third Track: Design and construct three miles of a third track in Prince William County.
  • Aquia Creek Third Track South: Design and construct approximately two miles of a third track in Stafford County.
  • Crossroads Third Track: Design and construct approximately four miles of a third track in Spotsylvania County.

Warner, Kaine, Beyer, Connolly, Spanberger, and McClellan have been vocal advocates for the completion of the TRV Phase 2 projects and sent a letter in support of the project to Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Pete Buttigieg in October. Warner and Kaine successfully worked to pass the Long Bridge Actwhich authorized critical land transfers that allowed construction of the project to move forward. Warner and Kaine previously secured $20,000,000 in federal funding to create a new bicycle-pedestrian bridge that crosses the Potomac River between Long Bridge Park in Arlington and West Potomac Parks in D.C. Warner and Kaine also secured $100 million in federal funding to the Virginia Passenger Rail Authority to design and build the Franconia-Springfield Bypass, which will allow Amtrak and VRE trains to seamlessly cross over two freight rail tracks, preventing delays and expanding capacity for additional service. Warner and Kaine applauded $58 million in federal funding to support the construction of the Raleigh to Richmond (R2R) corridor, which will eventually result in new intercity passenger rail service between Raleigh and Richmond.

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