Webb, Warner Secure Millions to Ease Northern Virginia Traffic Congestion, Address Housing Needs for Most Vulnerable
~More than $250 Million for Projects in Northern Virginia~
Sep 17 2009
Contact: Kevin Hall (202-224-2023)
Washington, DC – Senators Jim Webb and Mark Warner today supported final passage of the FY 2010 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill which addresses a number of transportation and housing needs of the nation and the Commonwealth of Virginia. The bipartisan measure passed by a vote of 73 to 25 and will now go to conference committee with the House of Representatives.
The measure provides funding to invest in transportation and highway infrastructure, to ensure the safety of our transportation system, and to spur high-speed rail development and intercity transportation. It also addresses housing needs for the elderly and disabled and makes available housing vouchers for homeless veterans in addition to others who qualify. Further, the bill includes funds to help stem the foreclosure crisis through housing counseling efforts, and a provision to address urgent shortfalls in the Housing Choice Voucher Program, the largest federal low-income housing program.
“There is no question that traffic congestion is a quality of life issue and a potential obstacle to economic growth. As Northern Virginia continues to be one of the fastest growing regions in the country, this funding is essential to meet the growing need for better roads and alternative modes of transportation,” said Senator Jim Webb. “In addition to easing Virginia’s congestion problems, today’s bill injects capital into local communities and provides increased support for our nation’s most vulnerable.”
“I am pleased we have been able to provide support for public housing programs and an initiative designed to help distressed homeowners avoid foreclosure,” Senator Warner said. “In addition, Senator Webb and I were able to work together to secure one-time federal funds for critical transit and road upgrades in Northern Virginia, as well as funding that demonstrate the continued federal commitment to build the vitally important Dulles Rail Extension.”
More than $100 million in funding has been allocated to alleviate severe congestion throughout Northern Virginia, including $7.6 million for improvements to interchanges affected by increased Army presence at Fort Belvoir, $85 million for the Dulles Rail Extension, and $8 million for improvements to the Rosslyn Metro Station, locomotives for Virginia Railway Express and a new Bus Rapid Transit along Route 1.
In addition to funding dedicated to Northern Virginia, $150 million was also provided for grants to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) for capital investments. The bill includes language requiring WMATA to place the highest priority on projects that will improve the safety of the transit system.
Notable Northern Virginia Transportation/ HUD Projects Funded in the Bill:
Capital and Preventive Maintenance Projects for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun; Cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Virginia; $150,000,000
- The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) was created in 1966 primarily to serve the federal government. Many Metrorail stations were built at the request of the federal government and nearly half of all stations are located at federal facilities. Federal employees comprise 40% of WMATA's peak ridership, and millions of others use the WMATA system each year to visit the Nation's Capital or conduct business with the federal government. WMATA is also a critical component for ensuring continuity of federal government operations during an emergency, and federal recovery plans rely heavily on WMATA, which played a key role on September 11, 2001. The federal funds requested would be matched dollar-for-dollar by the supporting jurisdictions, resulting in approximately 7,140 jobs created or retained.
Dulles Corridor Rail Project; Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, Washington, DC; $85,000,000
- A full funding grant agreement (FFGA) was signed by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, the project sponsor, for this project in March 2009. The FFGA commits federal funding for this project, which first received federal appropriations in Fiscal Year 1999. This appropriation reflects the amount designated in the FFGA funding schedule for FY 2010. The project sponsors are working with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the Department of Transportation to bring the project closer to a reality. The Washington Dulles International Airport, which will be served by the project when fully built-out, and the surrounding high tech community are a driving force in the region’s economy.
Fairfax County Parkway Interchange Improvements at Fair Lakes Boulevard and Monument Drive; County of Fairfax, Virginia; $6,000,000
- This project is a grade-separated interchange on the Fairfax County Parkway between I-66 and US Route 50 in the area of Fair Lakes Parkway and Monument Drive. The existing at-grade, signalized intersection at Fairfax County Parkway and Fair Lakes Parkway has been identified as one of the most congested areas of the Parkway, and it operates at Level of Service “F”. Delays extend beyond the normal peak hours, include weekends, and are projected to worsen as traffic volumes increase. This grade-separation will significantly improve traffic flow on the Fairfax County Parkway by providing free flow conditions (no signals) between Route 50 and Popes Head Road.
Interstate-95/Fairfax County Parkway Interchange at Newington Road; County of Fairfax, Virginia; $1,000,000
- This appropriation is for funding to reconstruct the grade-separated interchange of I-95 and the Fairfax County Parkway at Newington Road. The funding request for this interchange is due to the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission recommendations for Fort Belvoir. The reconstruction will address increased traffic congestion expected because of increased personnel and contractors for Army operations. This Interchange would provide better access to the Army base and the Engineer Proving Grounds (EPG) site.
Improvements to the Rosslyn Metro Station; County of Arlington, Virginia; $2,000,000
- The funds will be used to construct a new entrance at the station and three high-speed elevators to improve the capacity and ease of access to the station. The project also involves a new mezzanine with underground connecting passageway, station manager kiosk, fare collection equipment and all related infrastructure to support the new entrance. Finally, it includes street improvements to ensure a good level of service for bus and pedestrian traffic, an emergency stairway, and a new elevator for redundancy, which will reduce the need for shuttles from nearby stations if one elevator is out of service.
Route 1 Bus Rapid Transit, Potomac Yard-Crystal City; City of Alexandria and County of Arlington, Virginia; $2,000,000
- The City of Alexandria and Arlington County are working together to plan Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) for Route 1 through the Potomac Yard-Crystal City corridor. This project will increase the ability of workers in this corridor (many of whom are employed by federal agencies) to use transit for commuting, thus reducing traffic congestion and air pollution.
Route 1 / Route 123 Interchange Improvements; County of Prince William, Virginia; $600,000
- Funds will be used for construction of the US Route1/ State Route 123 Interchange project. This project involves replacement of an at-grade intersection at US Route 1 & State Route 123 with interchange including construction of a bridge over the CSX railroad (which is parallel to US Route 1), improved access to Virginia Railway Express station, widening of US Route 1 to 6 lanes from Occoquan Road to Annapolis Way, and widening of State Route123 to 6 lanes from Horner Road to US Route 1.
Virginia Railway Express Rolling Stock; Virginia Railway Express, Northern Virginia; $4,000,000
- Funds will be used to purchase new locomotives to replace locomotives that are more than ten years beyond their life expectancy. The new locomotives will improve on time performance for the Virginia Railway Express (VRE) and help VRE meet its double digit ridership growth since 2001. Funding for these new locomotives will not only benefit the immediate need for stronger and more reliable locomotives to service current ridership levels, but also allow for the expansion of service by permitting the Virginia Railway Express to lengthen existing trains.