Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star: Millions could be coming to area infrastructure projects

Fredericksburg localities could benefit from millions in federal funding that the U.S. House of Representatives approved this week.

Funding for 14 projects in several Virginia localities was sponsored by 7th District U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger.

“The investments in these community-focused projects total more than $12.2 million for infrastructure, transportation, public safety, and accessibility needs in Virginia’s Seventh District,” Spanberger’s office said in a Thursday statement.

Spanberger worked with local officials to secure the federal funds, which aim to help pay for projects in Fredericksburg as well as the counties of Stafford and Spotsylvania locally. Other localities that could receive the federal funds include Culpeper, and Prince William counties among others.

The funding is not guaranteed as the fiscal 2024 appropriations package must be approved by the U.S. Senate and signed by President Joe Biden.

“These federal dollars are responsible, direct investments to strengthen Virginia’s physical infrastructure, enhance public safety, and allow more Virginians to take advantage of all that our Commonwealth has to offer,” Spanberger said in the statement.

If the funds are approved, Fredericksburg would receive $200,000 to “modernize the American Job Center” and help get the facility compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act standards. Proposed improvements to the center also include high-speed internet.

Jackie Davis, executive director of the Bay Consortium Workforce Development Board, said in the congresswoman’s statement that the investment in the center “will not only enhance the accessibility and infrastructure of the American Job Center … but will also serve as a catalyst for connecting Virginians to employment opportunities.”

Spotsylvania is on tap to get a larger piece of federal funding. The county could get $4.1 million for road projects and another half million dollars to help pay for a new water tower.

The county plans to build a 1-million-gallon water tank to replace the current, smaller water tower in order to serve the growing Massaponax and Thornburg areas. The new funds would be in addition to $3 million the congresswoman helped secure in fiscal 2023, according to the statement.

The road projects are focused on the northbound Interstate 95 and U.S. 1 interchange, with plans calling for additional turn lanes and ramp widening.

Spotsylvania Administrator Ed Petrovitch said in the statement that the county is “grateful” for help with “projects that will serve our region for many years to come.”

Stafford is in line to receive more than $1.7 million in the federal infrastructure funds.

The bulk of the funding would go toward widening and realignment along with other improvements along a section of Onville Road. The improvements are expected to ease traffic congestion to and from the U.S. Marine Corps base in Quantico.

The county also is in line to get $500,000 for improvements on U.S. 1 near Courthouse Road. The improvements include widening the highway so dedicated left-turn lanes can be added to intersections at Courthouse Road, Bells Hill Road and Hope Road. The project also calls for the addition of a concrete median and sidewalks.

Another $246,000 is targeted for a computerized dispatch system for the Stafford Sheriff’s Office.

Stafford Board of Supervisors Chair Meg Bohmke said in the statement that transportation and public safety “are among our biggest priorities.”

In her statement, Spanberger thanked local officials “across the Seventh District who visualized the potential impact of these smart investments, advocated for their communities and the Virginians they serve, and worked with my team and me to get to this point. I look forward to seeing these investments make it to the President’s desk and make a real impact in our communities.”

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