Fredericksburg Advance: Spanberger Celebrates Infrastructure Investment in Spotsylvania

FREDERICKSBURG ADVANCE, ADELE UPHAUS

Rep. Abigail Spanberger was in Spotsylvania on Monday afternoon to present a ceremonial check for $4.6 million in federal dollars for community-requested infrastructure projects, and to her, the occasion was an example of what happens when “local, state, and federal investments work in harmony.”

“Since being elected to Congress, it has been a top priority to bring federal resources back home to Virginia,” Spanberger said. “I want to thank Spotsylvania’s leaders for communicating clearly with my office about what’s important to the community.”

The bulk of the investment, which Spanberger secured as part of the federal government’s fiscal year 2024 appropriations package, will support road improvements on Interstate 95 and U.S. 1 to ease access to the future Fredericksburg Veterans Affairs Health Care Clinic.

The project includes construction of a new dual left turn from U.S. 1 northbound to I-95 northbound, a widened two-lane I-95 northbound onramp, and a 1,500-foot acceleration lane onto the onramp.

The investment also includes $500,000 to construct a new 1-million-gallon water tower to replace an aging 40-year-old tank.

Kevin Marshall, Berkeley district representative to the Spotsylvania Board of Supervisors, said the federal funding will “get the job(s) done quickly.”

He noted that infrastructure like roads, traffic lights, and water towers are such a part of modern life that they often go unnoticed, but they cost money.

“And when the cost goes up, the burden falls on us,” Marshall said. He thanked Spanberger for securing federal funding for these projects, thereby relieving county taxpayers of having to shoulder the cost.

Marshall also said he is grateful on behalf of his friends who are veterans for any project that will make the new VA clinic more accessible.

“I’m tired of hearing my buddies say it’s taking them six months to get an appointment [at the VA hospital in Richmond],” he said. “I’d rather it be six days.”

Salem district representative Deborah Frazier said she is proud of Spotsylvania Count’s grant writing and planning department staff for advocating for the funding.

“When we come together, we can get it done,” she said.

Spanberger said the projects are about investing in “more than concrete, asphalt, and pipes.”

“It’s about investing in this county’s growth,” she said.

Also on Monday, Spanberger’s office announced that funding for equipment and security enhancements at the Fredericksburg Police Department’s Emergency Operations Center had been included in the FY24 appropriations bill, which President Joe Biden signed into law earlier this month.

The $637,195 investment will upgrade security at the communications center and allow for the installation of new monitors, computer workstations and consoles for dispatchers to “manage an increased number of calls and maintain lines with first responders during emergency situations,” according to a press release from Spanberger’s office.

Fredericksburg Mayor Kerry Devine said in the press release that the City is “consistently pursuing state and federal grant opportunities to offset the cost of core infrastructure priorities.”

“We have worked recently with the Federal Economic Development Authority at Riverfront Park and received a $1.2 million award, and with the Commonwealth of Virginia on wastewater treatment plant upgrades and received three awards totaling $56 million,” Devine said. “This is exciting news that Congresswoman Spanberger has secured an additional $637,000 award for public safety security enhancements and we are grateful to have such support.”

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