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How the federal infrastructure bill could help the metro-Richmond area

Federal bill creates additional funding for bridge projects
Federal bill creates additional funding for bridge projects(Bria Battle/10/11 NOW)
Published: Nov. 11, 2021 at 2:11 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 11, 2021 at 4:32 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The federal infrastructure bill could ease the nation’s supply-chain issue by getting more people behind the wheel of a big rig.

Recruiting and training are just one aspect, but Virginia Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger says the legislation would also create a pilot program to employ truck drivers between 18 and 21.

“You know you can join the military and go off and fight in defense of our nation but currently cannot be employed as truck drivers,” said Rep. Abigail Spanberger, (D) 7th District Virginia.

Both Democrats and Republicans also point to the $100 million to bring broadband internet to 473,000 Virginians.

“This bill recognizes the importance of broadband connectivity as an important utility that matters to not only people and community members but our economy and that our economy requires broadband connectivity,” said Rep. Spanberger.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act would also funnel more than $7 billion to the Commonwealth to better hundreds of bridges in poor condition and 2,000 miles of road needing help like West Broad Street improvements in Henrico.

“Right now, we’re trying to make sure we identify where the support for Virginia can come. We’ve got a lot of infrastructure needs in Virginia,” said Governor-Elect Glenn Youngkin, (R) Virginia.

The federal funds could also be used to improve rail between Richmond and Washington, Interstate 95 improvements including express lanes, and the Fall Line Trail, a 43-mile long path connecting Ashland to Petersburg.

“I’m really focused on making sure Virginia gets moving, and I think the infrastructure bill will help us,” said Governor-Elect Youngkin.

Rep. Spanberger also says old lead pipes underground would also be replaced in the greater-Richmond area.

Full list of Richmond-area projects that could be funded:

Here are some additional projects that could receive support:

  1. Rail improvements between Richmond and Washington, DC
  2. I-95 improvements and expanding express lanes
  3. Construction of the Fall Line Trail
  4. I-95/Willis Interchange Improvements in Chesterfield
  5. W. Broad Street Operational and Pedestrian Improvements in Henrico
  6. Safety Improvements and Widening of Route 360 in Chesterfield and Amelia Counties
  7. Improvements to Route 1 in Chesterfield
  8. Broad Street (Rt 250) and Route 288 Improvements in Goochland
  9. Safety Improvements to Route 208 in Louisa
  10. Safety improvements at Route 60 and Judes Ferry Road in Powhatan

Over the next five years, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will provide Virginia with:

  • $7 billion to repair and rebuild our roads and bridges through federal-aid highway apportioned programs.
  • $537 million to repair and replace bridges that are in poor condition.
  • $1.2 billion to improve public transportation options, like our passenger rails, throughout the state.$106 million to support the expansion of electric vehicle charging stations across the Commonwealth.
  • $100 million to help provide broadband coverage to all Virginians, including the 473,000 who currently lack it.
  • 1,908,000 Virginians (23% of the population) will be eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Benefit to help low-income families afford internet access.
  • $15 million to protect against wildfires and make our infrastructure more climate-resilient.
  • $21 million to protect against cyberattacks and ensure our state’s continued security.
  • $738 million to improve water infrastructure, including wastewater management and lead pipe remediation to ensure clean, safe drinking water for all Virginians.
  • $386 million to improve our airports and develop new airport infrastructure.
  • $238 million to support the Chesapeake Bay Program to restore and preserve the Chesapeake Bay.

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