NEWS RELEASE – March 29, 2023
Request for Qualifications is milestone for Commonwealth’s Transforming Rail in Virginia initiative
RICHMOND — The Virginia Passenger Rail Authority (VPRA) has issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) seeking qualified design-build teams for the north end of the Long Bridge Project. This milestone represents a major step in moving forward the largest project in the Commonwealth’s Transforming Rail in Virginia (TRV) initiative. The Long Bridge Project-North Package RFQ will utilize the Progressive Design Build (PDB) project delivery method.
A national model for passenger and freight rail agreements, TRV is a 10-year initiative through which the Commonwealth will acquire railroad corridors and upgrade them, increasing rail capacity with a portfolio of capital projects designed to improve reliability and increase rail service in Virginia. Through TRV, the Commonwealth will:
- double the state-supported Amtrak service between Washington, DC and Richmond, resulting in near-hourly service along this corridor;
- increase Amtrak service to Roanoke, Newport News, and Norfolk;
- extend Amtrak service from Roanoke to the New River Valley (Christiansburg) and construct a new passenger station and platform; and
- increase VRE Fredericksburg Line service by 75 percent and add new late-night and weekend service.
The current Long Bridge – a 117-year-old railroad bridge – regularly operates at 98 percent capacity and is a chokepoint for rail traffic along the east coast. Additional capacity is necessary to meet future demand.
The overall VPRA-led Long Bridge Project, which consists of two procurement packages, a North Package and a South Package, will construct a new railroad bridge crossing the Potomac River, adjacent to the existing Long Bridge, connecting Virginia to Washington, DC.
The new bridge will be a modern two-track bridge and will allow for the separation of passenger and freight rail traffic, improving trip times and on-time performance for both along the corridor.
“The Long Bridge Project-North Package RFQ represents the beginning of a generational project to change transportation in the Commonwealth,” said DJ Stadtler, Executive Director of VPRA. “Building this bridge and all of the accompanying infrastructure is vital for the future of not just rail travel, but all travel on the east coast because it will add capacity for passenger rail and for freight rail and will lessen the burden on the congested I-95 corridor. It will increase mobility in Virginia and through Virginia, all along the east coast.”
The Long Bridge Project-North Package RFQ is the first step of a two-step procurement process for final design and construction of the project. As a first step, teams provide their qualifications and VPRA will create a shortlist of the most qualified firms. As the second step, shortlisted teams will submit full proposals to design and construct the project.
The North Package does not include the construction of the new bridge over the river but encompasses the area from the new bridge’s northern abutment moving north to L’Enfant interlocking near L’Enfant Plaza in Washington, DC. This package includes the construction of a number of smaller bridges within the project footprint, including:
- a new rail bridge over the WMATA Portal/I-395;
- the replacement of the existing two-track Ohio Drive SW Rail Bridge with a four-track bridge;
- the replacement of the existing two-track Washington Channel Rail Bridge with a four-track bridge;
- the replacement of the existing two-track Maine Avenue SW Rail Bridge with a four-track bridge; and
- the replacement of the Maine Avenue SW Pedestrian Bridge.
Red line indicates Long Bridge Project-North Package
No work in the Potomac River is anticipated to be included in the Long Bridge Project–North Package. Submissions are due on or before May 5, 2023 at 2pm Eastern time. The RFQ is available on the VPRA website.
About Virginia Passenger Rail Authority
The Virginia Passenger Rail Authority was established in 2020 to promote, sustain, and expand the availability of passenger and commuter rail service in the Commonwealth. VPRA is committed to delivering the state’s Amtrak Virginia passenger rail service as an integrated, affordable, and convenient travel option and plays a critical role in mitigating current and future traffic congestion on Virginia’s highways, promoting economic development, and connecting communities by increasing passenger rail capacity, services, and ridership. For more information, please visit vapassengerrailauthority.org.