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Key Planning Details of the Proposed $1.9 Billion Rail Bridge Between D.C. and Virginia

Analysis of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for a project that would add an additional bridge to supplement the rail capacity of the Long Bridge over the Potomac River.
November 21, 2019, 1pm PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Arlington to D.C.
The Long Bridge, pictured in 2012.
Elvert Barnes

Stephen Repetski reports on plans "to add another crossing to supplement the rail capacity of the 115-year-old Long Bridge and expand commuter, intercity, and freight rail service throughout the region."

The Long Bridge is currently a bottleneck for service on both Amtrak and Virginia Railway Express service. The project would allow both, as well as freight rail lines, to run more trains. In September, an article by Wyatt Gordon noted the improving ridership of Amtrak in Virginia and cited the Long Bridge as a key component for ensuring the national intercity line's ongoing success.

Repetski provides a lot of details about the current plans for the project: "The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) has been leading planning for the bridge overhaul, while Virginia will be the entity in charge of doing the actual work." The DDOT released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) earlier this year, which received criticism for not including a previously planned bike and pedestrian trail on the new bridge.

Repetski also details the ongoing work of identifying potential funding for the project—the estimated price tag for the preferred alternative described in the DEIS would total $1.9 billion.

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Published on Wednesday, November 20, 2019 in Greater Greater Washington
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