VPRA Receives $100M Grant for Franconia-Springfield Bypass Project

Written by Jennifer McLawhorn, Managing Editor
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RICHMOND – Virginia Rail Authority, or VPRA, announced it has received a grant from the Department of Transportation that will go toward the Franconia-Springfield Bypass Project.

In a press release, Virginia Rail Authority, or VPRA, announced it has received a grant from the Department of Transportation. The $100 million grant will go toward the Franconia-Springfield Bypass Project. Under the FRA’s CRISI program, the grant “will advance final design and construction of the bypass project.”

The project is expected to reduce train interference between Fredericksburg and Washington, DC by constructing a passenger rail bridge 0.9 miles long. Located south of the Franconia-Springfield Metro Station, the project will connect passenger trains on the West side of the corridor north of the bridge to the east side of the corridor south of the bridge. This will improve service for both passenger and freight. The bridge will cross over two existing freight tracks and allow passenger trains to cross over the existing freight tracks.

Starting next year, the construction will last two years, and the project’s total cost comes out to $405 million. 

Secretary of Transportation Shep Miller said of the grant: “This grant is a big win for Virginia. The Bypass will improve fluidity for our freight railroads and enable more passenger service in one of the most heavily trafficked areas of the Commonwealth. . . I am pleased the FRA recognizes this corridor’s tremendous importance to interstate commerce and travel not only within Virginia, but along the entire East Coast.”

Additionally, Jennifer DeBruhl, Director of the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation and Board Chair of the Virginia Passenger Rail Authority Board, said, “Connecting communities within Virginia with safe and affordable options is what we do. . . this FRA CRISI grant will aid VPRA in completing an important piece of their Transforming Rail in Virginia initiative, the Franconia-Springfield Bypass – an infrastructure improvement that will benefit not only Virginians but all who travel by rail through the Commonwealth.”

Once the first phase of the Franconia-Springfield Bypass Project is complete, “additional Amtrak Virginia and CRE frequencies will be available with. More weekend and new, late night options,” according to the press release.VPRA Receives $100M Grant for Franconia-Springfield Bypass Project

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