House passes Long Bridge Act: Bill would have $6B economic impact on NoVA
The House today passed the Long Bridge Act of 2020, legislation introduced by First District Republican Rob Wittman and Eighth District Democrat Don Beyer that will allow the National Park Service to convey and authorize necessary federal property for the construction of a new commuter rail and pedestrian bridge spanning the Potomac.
“I am so glad to see the passage of this vitally important piece of legislation by the House today,” 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.”
“The existing Long Bridge is the only rail bridge connecting Virginia to Washington, DC, and it is the main rail connection between the southeast and northeast for both passenger and freight rail,” Beyer said. “During peak hours, the two-track bridge is at almost 98 percent capacity, which makes it a significant chokepoint along the East Coast. That is why the new Long Bridge project is so crucial: it would double the capacity of the Potomac River rail crossing by adding a second two-track bridge adjacent to the existing bridge.”
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.
A study projects an annual $6 billion in benefits to the region by 2040.