WASHINGTON – Congressman Rob Wittman (R-VA01) today issued the following statement after the House passage of his legislation, the Long Bridge Act of 2020:
“I am so glad to see the passage of this vitally important piece of legislation by the House today,” Congressman Wittman said. “Commuter rail is an important component to reducing traffic congestion in Northern Virginia; Long Bridge, which spans the Potomac River between Virginia and Washington, D.C., is a critical gateway between southeast and northeast rail networks that carries all Amtrak, Virginia Railway Express, and CSX traffic.
“That is why I introduced this bill: a new Long Bridge will ease congestion along the I-95 corridor and cut down on the commuter travel time that plagues many VA-01 residents. Constituents in my district rely on the services of Amtrak and the VRE to commute throughout Washington, DC, Northern Virginia, and Fredericksburg. The current Long Bridge structure is the primary constraint limiting VRE’s ability to operate more passenger trains which could significantly reduce traffic in Northern Virginia and help with the commutes of First District residents.
“The construction of a separate passenger-only bridge will also allow freight to move more freely from the Port of Virginia, taking thousands of large trucks off of Virginia roadways. I am proud to see this legislation pass the House today, and I urge my colleagues in the Senate to pass this legislation quickly to do the most good for the people of our region.”
The Long Bridge Act of 2020 allows the National Park Service (NPS) to convey and authorize necessary federal property for the construction of a new commuter rail and pedestrian bridge spanning the Potomac.
A new Long Bridge is crucial to continued economic growth and enhanced mobility in Virginia. It will also increase the capacity of the rail network for the Port of Virginia, where 37 percent of goods move in and out by rail.
The First District includes the I-95 Corridor in Prince William and Stafford counties, and the City of Fredericksburg, which includes the worst traffic hot spot in the nation, and extends down to the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula, which includes some of the most neglected rural roads and bridges in Virginia. Addressing the congestion issue along the I-95 corridor is essential to improving transportation in the region.
Congressman Wittman introduced this legislation earlier this year with Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA08) and Senators Warner and Kaine introduced the Senate companion legislation.