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How newly-passed infrastructure bill could fund Central Virginia projects

How newly-passed infrastructure bill could fund Central Virginia projects
Posted at 4:34 PM, Nov 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-09 05:16:08-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Biking just a few pedal strokes from where a new 43-mile trail will run through Bryan Park, Louise Lockett Gordon cannot help but enjoy the fresh air and smile after Congress passed a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill over the weekend.

"Included as part of that is just about an over doubling of transportation alternative funds," Lockett Gordon said.

The money could help the Fall Line Trail, which runs from Ashland to Petersburg, get built in eight to ten years.

"There is a lot of regional support for the fall line trail, we definitely think it is a very well-rounded candidate for those sorts of funding," Lockett Gordon said.

The bill could also help boost Richmond projects like tree planting and green surface restoration on the Southside that are aimed at rehabbing local watersheds and the Chesapeake Bay.

"Would make available more funding to localities to non-profits who are working on on the ground restoration projects to restore local watersheds," Peggy Sanner, Virginia Chesapeake Bay Foundation Executive Director said.

Democrats call this a historic, job-creating and bipartisan infrastructure package.

An estimated $7 billion will go to Virginia highways and more than $530 million for Virginia bridge replacement and repairs.

Nothing is set in stone yet, but Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger's (D-7th District) office sent CBS 6 a list of potential projects that could receive funding, in addition to the fall line trail and the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

  • Train travel between Richmond and DC
  • I-95 and the expansion of express lanes
  • The over a century old Mayo Bridge in Richmond, which is considered structurally deficient because of water damage
  • I-95/Willis interchange in Chesterfield
  • Making W. Broad St. safer for pedestrians in Henrico
  • Route One in Chesterfield
  • Route 250 and Route 288 in Goochland
  • Route 208 in Louisa
  • Widening of Route 360 in Chesterfield and Amelia
  • Route 60 and Judes Ferry Road in Powhatan

We reached out to Virginia Republicans for their response to the infrastructure bill.

Congressman Ben Cline (R-6th District) voted against the bill and said in part that "the bill put politics above progress and neglected traditional infrastructure."

Cline said, "of the $1.2 trillion in the bill, just 110 billion is allocated for roads and bridges, less than 15 percent of the legislation's total funding."

Congressman Bob Good (R-5th District) said in part "this phony infrastructure bill will do little more than pump billions of dollars into liberal social projects and plunge us further into debt.”