Warner & Kaine Announce Nearly $3 Million in Infrastructure Funding to Connect Communities in Norfolk and Richmond
Feb 22 2023
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine announced $2,950,000 in federal funding to reconnect communities by improving transportation infrastructure in Norfolk and Richmond. The funding is awarded through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Reconnecting Communities Pilot grant program (RCP), which supports planning grants, capital construction grants, and technical assistance to reconnect communities that were previously cut off from economic opportunity by transportation infrastructure. The funds can be used to remove, improve, or replace transportation facilities such as highways, roads, and rail lines that create barriers to community connectivity. The RCP Program was established by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which the senators voted to pass in 2021.
“Past infrastructure choices have prevented too many Virginians from accessing critical resources and economic opportunity in their communities,” said the Senators. “We’re glad this funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will help bring communities together by removing barriers to connectivity and improving our transportation infrastructure.”
The funding is distributed as follows:
- $1,600,000 for the Norfolk I-264 Reconnecting Communities Project in Norfolk to plan for a solution to the “spaghetti bowl”, a 14-lane-wide jumble of I-264 ramps and interchanges that cuts a low-income, 97% African American neighborhood off from access and connectivity to the downtown area. The plan will be informed by community engagement.
- $1,350,000 for Richmond to improve access and reconnect Jackson Ward through the creation of a new bridge or freeway lid that would incorporate transportation connections, public spaces, and opportunities for future development.
Jackson Ward is a historic African-American community that was physically and economically separated from downtown Richmond by the construction of I-95 and I-64 in the 1950s. In 2021, Kaine visited the neighborhood with U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg to learn more about the impact of the division on the community and how these funds will help reconnect the neighborhood.
Warner and Kaine have long supported efforts to improve infrastructure across the Commonwealth. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law included over $8 billion in federal funds to improve transit and highway systems across Virginia. The recent government funding bill included nearly $200 million to strengthen transportation and recreation infrastructure. Last year, the senators announced $25 million in federal funding to expand I-64.