Friday, December 11, 2009

Federal Funding Secured for Projects in Virginia's 11th Congressional District

According to a statement I received from Gerry Connolly’s office, the House of Representatives approved an appropriations bill that contained federal funding for several projects in Virginia’s 11th Congressional District. The funding, which was sought by Connolly on behalf of his constituents, included $3 million for gang prevention, $3.2 million for Chesapeake Bay restoration, and almost $250 million for infrastructure investments including bridge, highway and pedestrian improvements and money for extending metro to Dulles.

Now anyone who lives in Northern Virginia (or has driven through it for that matter) knows that traffic is extremely bad in the situation and our state government hasn’t been able to come up with any real solutions to the issue in recent years. I’m therefore very pleased to see that Gerry was able to get some federal dollars to be directed towards improving our infrastructure in a manner that will also likely help to ease some of the traffic burden. Of course another added benefit I see from this is that some people in the area will have to be employed to work on these projects – something that is extremely beneficial during these economic times.

For a breakdown of where the funding will be heading, here’s what Gerry’s office sent me:

Connolly said the legislation contains funding for a number of specific transportation projects he and other members of the congressional delegation requested for Northern Virginia. Among the major projects are: $974,000 for the I-95/Fairfax County Parkway interchange in Newington; $584,000 for the Fairfax County Parkway interchange at Fair Lakes; $300,000 to replace the deteriorating bridge over Accotink Creek on Route 123 (Chain Bridge Road) in Fairfax City; $584,400 for interchange improvements at Routes 1 and 123 in Woodbridge; $500,000 for sidewalk and street improvements in the Town Haymarket; $150,000 for pedestrian safety enhancements in the Town of Occoquan; and $9.5 million for an access road at Fort Belvoir.

A number of transit projects also were included in the appropriations bill, Connolly said. The Dulles Corridor Metrorail project will receive $85 million in funding under the bill, while another $150 million was approved for capital and preventive maintenance for the Metrorail system. Also approved was $1 million for construction of a western bus maintenance facility in Prince William County for the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission, $500,000 for a Richmond highway public transportation initiative in the Route 1 corridor of Fairfax County, and $3 million for rail cars for Virginia Railway Express.

In addition, $3 million in federal funds were approved for the Northern Virginia Regional Gang Task Force, a program long-championed by Connolly that has had great success in reducing gang activity across Northern Virginia.

Also approved in the bill were $3.3 million for Chesapeake Bay restoration, $200,000 for the Fairfax Childhelp Center to help combat child abuse, $550,000 for George Mason University’s Center for Infrastructure Protection, and $500,000 for Northern Virginia Community College to develop electronic medical records training to prepare students for new jobs in the health records field.

Connolly said the legislation also contains funding for a number of other projects across Northern Virginia that he requested in the appropriations bill.

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