Dear Speaker Pelosi and Leader McCarthy, and Representatives Hoyer, Scalise, Lowey, Granger, Quigley, Graves, McCollum, and Joyce:
The undersigned organizations support passage of the Long Bridge Act (H.R. 7489) this year. Specifically, H.R. 7489 will authorize the transfer of National Park Service (NPS) lands necessary for the construction of the Long Bridge project. We also support efforts in Congress to include the necessary language in the FY2021 Interior and Financial Services appropriations bills in order to move this project forward. We thank you for your effort and energy to work collaboratively with the delegations in Virginia, the District of Columbia, and Maryland to ensure Long Bridge’s construction is completed on time.
Nearly 50 percent of the Capital Region’s commuters wake up in one jurisdiction and go to work in another, and 20 percent cross a state border. Our region’s residents demand easy and safe multimodal connections that tie our region together. However, due to key infrastructure bottlenecks our region’s rail network is not integrated allowing for one-seat connections for residents to cross between Virginia and Maryland, and back again.
Virginia announced a $3.7 Billion rail investment in December 2019, including $2 billion to build the new Long Bridge. Long Bridge is not just a bottleneck for the region, but also the nation’s rail system, comprising a two-track freight and passenger rail crossing constructed in 1904 over the Potomac River connecting the District of Columbia to Virginia, and points to the Southeast and Midwest. The bridge is at capacity during peak period today, and it must be expanded in order to meet the estimated 150 percent growth in passenger and freight service over the next 20 years from 76 trains a day today to more than 190 trains a day. Congressional support is critical in moving this project forward.
We are enthusiastic to see strong bi-partisan support from Virginia, the District of Columbia, and Maryland for this project, as well as passenger and freight rail advocates and stakeholders from our region’s transportation leaders, as well as the business, bicycle, smart growth, labor and environmentalist communities. In short, we cannot have the future integrated rail system our region demands without completion of this mega-project.
Therefore, we support all efforts this Congress takes to enable delivery of this critical infrastructure investment.
Thank you for your leadership.
View the full list of signees.