Key Virginia Rail Bridge Project Completes Environmental Review

A $1.9 billion project to add a second set of rail tracks to the Long Bridge that connects Virginia to D.C. is ready to move forward with a recently completed Environmental Impact Statement.

Read Time: 2 minutes

September 17, 2020, 12:00 PM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Arlington to D.C.

Elvert Barnes / Flickr

"With the state budget in tatters and commuter levels at record lows, now might hardly seem the right moment for Virginia to embark upon a $1.9 billion rail project. However, the recent conclusion of the Long Bridge’s environmental impact study has cleared the way for the commonwealth to do just that," reports Wyatt Gordon. 

Rail advocates and enthusiasts have been touting the potential impact of the Long Bridge project since the Draft EIS for the Long Bridge project was completed in September. But that enthusiasm increased in December 2019, when Virginia announced a $3.7 billion deal to buy 225 miles of track from CSX. This latest announcement about the completion of the EIS shows that Virginia's intercity rail ambitions are maintaining momentum through the economic fallout of the pandemic. 

Wyatt reports that funding contingencies remain for the Long Bridge project to come to its anticipated fruition. "Although the final funding agreement is still being worked out among Amtrak, the D.C. Department of Transportation and Virginia’s Department of Rail and Public Transportation, DRPT Director Jennifer Mitchell isn’t worried about Amtrak’s promised $944 million contribution or the fate of the Long Bridge project."

The final project will be worth the anticipation expressed by Virginia transportation officials in the article. When complete, the project will double the rail capacity across the Potomac River, "thereby creating new possibilities of D.C. to RVA high speed rail, expanded Virginia Rail Express commuter service and increased freight from the Port of Virginia," according to Wyatt.

Monday, September 14, 2020 in The Virginia Mercury

Chicago Commute

The Right to Mobility

As we consider how to decarbonize transportation, preserving mobility, especially for lower- and middle-income people, must be a priority.

January 26, 2023 - Angie Schmitt

Green bike lane with flexible delineators and textures paint in Hoboken, New Jersey

America’s Best New Bike Lanes

PeopleForBikes highlights some of the most exciting new bike infrastructure projects completed in 2022.

January 31, 2023 - PeopleforBikes

Sharrow bike markings on black asphalt two-lane road with snowy trees

Early Sharrow Booster: ‘I Was Wrong’

The lane marking was meant to raise awareness and instill shared respect among drivers and cyclists. But their inefficiency has led supporters to denounce sharrows, pushing instead for more robust bike infrastructure that truly protects riders.

January 26, 2023 - Streetsblog USA

A tent covered in blue and black tarps sits on a downtown Los Angeles sidewalk with the white ziggurat-topped L.A. City Hall looming in the background

L.A. County Towns Clash Over Homelessness Policies

Local governments often come to different conclusions about how to address homelessness within their respective borders, but varying approaches only exacerbate the problem.

February 3 - Shelterforce Magazine

Rendering of mixed-use development with parks and stormwater retention on former Houston landfill site

A Mixed-Use Vision for Houston Landfill Site

A local nonprofit is urging the city to consider adding mixed-use development to the site, which city officials plan to turn into a stormwater detention facility.

February 3 - Urban Edge

Aerial view of downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin at sunset

Milwaukee County Makes Substantial Progress on Homelessness

In 2022, the county’s point-in-time count of unhoused people reflected just 18 individuals, the lowest in the country.

February 3 - Urban Milwaukee