NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia public officials held a roundtable Monday to discuss the future of infrastructure in Coastal Virginia.
Rep. Elaine Luria, Rep. Bobby Scott and local Hampton Roads leaders held the roundtable discussion to highlight the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s (BIL) efforts to modernize and improve infrastructure at the Port of Virginia and Coastal Virginia.
The BIL included $110 billion for the replacement and improvement of bridges, roads, and other major infrastructure. It included $66 billion to provide funding for freight and rail and $39.25 for public transit. Additionally, it provided $65 billion for broadband deployment grants. These provisions will help address the supply chain backlog, which is impacting businesses across the country.
The Port of Virginia and Coastal Virginia are set to benefit from nearly $70 billion in projects to dredge and widen the harbor in Norfolk, reduce carbon emissions, and initiate construction on coastal resiliency infrastructure to combat climate change.
Earlier this week, Luria joined the Virginia congressional delegation urging President Biden to include $76.9 million for the Norfolk Harbor Widening and Deepening in the President’s Fiscal Year 2023 budget request.
The project aims to help expand Norfolk Harbor’s shipping channels and ensure that larger commercial and military vessels can continue to pass through the harbor safely.
Port of Virginia and Coastal Virginia specific provisions include:
- National Infrastructure Project Assistance (Megaprojects): The BIL designates $5 billion for Megaprojects. This program will support large and complex projects that are difficult to fund by other means and will likely to generate national or regional economic and safety benefits. Eligible projects would include a freight intermodal, including public ports.
- Carbon Reduction Program: The BIL designates $6.4 billion for a new DOT program to invest in projects that support reduction in transportation emissions. Eligible projects include port electrification and infrastructure to support congestion.
- The Norfolk Harbor Deepening and Widening Project: Army Corps designated $69,331,000 to improve navigation and expand capacity by deepening and widening the harbor’s shipping channels. This will enable safer access for larger commercial and naval vessels and provide significant new economic opportunities to the region.
- The City of Norfolk Coastal Storm Risk Management Project: The Army Corps designated $249,331,000 to initiate the first construction contract of the project, which will help reduce and manage flooding for major portions of the city through a system of surge barriers, tidal gates, floodwalls, levees, pump stations, and non-structural measures.