ROADS/BRIDGES: Virginia awarded $165 million federal grant for Atlantic Gateway program

July 6, 2016

The funding will help the state ease traffic on I-95 in addition to providing other transportation needs

Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D-Va.) announced Tuesday that his state was awarded a federal grant of $165 million for its Atlantic Gateway program, a set of rail, highway and bridge projects meant to ease some of the worst travel bottlenecks on the East Coast.

The overall budget for Atlantic Gateway is $1.4 billion, a combination of the federal grant, $710 million in other public financing pulled together by the state and $565 million in private investment. Much of the spending would be on projects in Northern Virginia. Some of the main highlights of the program include extending the 95 Express Lanes, constructing a new bridge on I-95 across the Rappahannock River, and building new track for rail lines.

The pieces of the program have various timetables. Some, such as the northern extension of the 95 Express Lanes, have been in the works for more than a year. The express lanes work to the Pentagon area, which will replace the I-395 High Occupancy Vehicle lanes with three high-occupancy toll lanes, could be underway in 2017.

On the south side, of the express lanes, the state has been working on a two-mile extension to get the lanes past the bottleneck at Garrisonville Road.

The state had asked for as much as $200 million in grants available through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s FASTLANE program. The grant program invests in efforts to improve freight and highway mobility nationwide. All the grants given out by the DOT are subject to a 60-day period of congressional review.