The Long Bridge Feasibility and Environmental Studies
The Long Bridge across the Potomac River is a major railroad bottleneck for the Eastern Seaboard and the main issue limiting VRE’s ability to operate more trains. The purpose of this project is to provide greater railroad capacity at Long Bridge.
VRE is currently collaborating with the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT), the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and CSX Transportation (CSXT), the bridge owner, on development activities to expand the crossing, doubling the amount of tracks from two to four. The team is presently conducting engineering and environmental analyses under a U.S. Department of Transportation American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant. The work will involve analyzing potential bridge replacement and expansion options aimed at improving capacity at the only railroad crossing of the Potomac River between D.C. and Virginia.
The Request for Proposals (RFP) for Phase III, which is for an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), was advertised on August 3. The EIS will document and disclose potential impacts and benefits of expanding and/or replacing Long Bridge. The NTP is expected in November 2016. VRE continues to support tasks related to environmental and engineering assessments along with service planning scenarios to create a strong foundation for the upcoming EIS effort. A Notice of Intent (NOI) was published on August 26, kicking off the scoping process. VRE, DDOT, DRPT, FRA and CSXT continue to collaborate and refine the project scope.