WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) announced $100,000,000 in federal funding to the Virginia Passenger Rail Authority to design and build the Franconia-Springfield Bypass, a critical bridge that will alleviate congestion on one of busiest railways in Virginia. Once completed, the project will allow Amtrak and Virginia Railway Express trains to seamlessly cross over two freight rail tracks, preventing delays and expanding capacity for additional service.
“Passenger rail is a vital connector for so many Virginians—carrying people to their work, their families, and their travel plans,” said the senators. “We’re thrilled to see this funding make rail safer and more efficient for Virginians by addressing a critical chokepoint in a vital location, alleviating congestion for hundreds of Virginians every single day.”
The funding is awarded through the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) Program, and made possible by the bipartisan infrastructure law and the FY2022 government spending bill, both strongly supported by Sens. Warner and Kaine.
Sens. Warner and Kaine have long supported efforts to improve long and short distance rail options across Virginia. Last year, they announced a historic $58 million investment in the Raleigh to Richmond (R2R) rail corridor. For two decades, the lawmakers worked to secure the support and funding necessary to extend the Silver Line to Dulles International Airport, after Kaine helped broker the deal between Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA), WMATA, the Commonwealth, and local governments to construct the Silver Line while he was governor. Sens. Warner and Kaine have also been vocal advocates for the completion of the Long Bridge project, which seeks to address a chokepoint across the Potomac River. They worked to pass the Long Bridge Act, which authorized critical land transfers that allowed construction of the project to move forward. Passed in November 2021, the bipartisan infrastructure law represented the largest federal investment in passenger rail since the creation of Amtrak, and nearly tripled funding for the CRISI Program.