WASHINGTON, D.C. (WAVY) – Virginia Senators Mark Warner (D) and Tim Kaine (D) announced $200 million in earmarks for the Commonwealth in the recently passed budget bill, including $70 million for projects specific to Hampton Roads.
The spending package was also approved Friday in the House of Representatives, and is expected to be signed by President Joe Biden in the coming days, the Senators’ offices said.
From child care to safer streets to better public transit, there’s something for just about everyone. The project getting the most funds at $30 million is the expansion of Craney Island. It will increase the capacity of the Port of Virginia by upgrading the ability to dredge the shipping channel.
After shootings on Norfolk city streets in recent years, $3 million will go to increase safety. Street light enhancements will help reduce crime and decrease concealment with brighter lights and improved LED fixtures.
A clear message of better public safety is also coming into Portsmouth with $3 million to help Portsmouth police better communicate and respond more quickly with updated land mobile radios.
A popular recreation center in Chesapeake’s South Norfolk section will get the city’s first aquatic facility. $3 million has been earmarked for the Cuffee Center to benefit people with special needs, seniors, children, and families.
$2.2 million is rolling into Hampton Roads Transit and the City of Norfolk to purchase paratransit vehicles to better serve riders with disabilities.
The current route to Sandbridge could end up being the road less traveled – now that $2 million is in place for an alternate route. The two-lane roadway will have shoulders, bike lanes, and a single shared-use path, making access safer to the enclave on the ocean.
A total of $3.5 million will boost child development centers at both Norfolk Naval Shipyard and NAS Oceana. The Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters will also get a million dollars in federal funds to expand mental health programming
Meanwhile, Chesapeake Regional Medical Center will get a million dollars to help establish a 20-bed acute, inpatient psychiatric unit.
Finally, students in Hampton will learn more about the story of NASA’s Hidden Figures and how four Black women were instrumental in the space race — with $700 thousand funding a new STEM curriculum.