June 01, 2015

At Memorial Bridge, Kaine Calls On Congress To Pass A Long-Term Transportation & Infrastructure Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tim Kaine joined U.S. Congressman Don Beyer, U.S. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, and National Park Service (NPS) Director Jonathan Jarvis today at a press conference near Memorial Bridge to urge Congress to pass a bipartisan, long-term federal transportation bill that makes critical investments in America’s aging infrastructure. Over the past month, the National Park Service has announced the six-month closures of two traffic lanes on Memorial Bridge, which has been deemed “structurally deficient” due to corrosion and other safety concerns. Approximately 68,000 drivers use the Memorial Bridge to travel between Virginia and Washington, D.C. every day.

"This is one of 4,800 structurally deficient or functionally obsolete bridges in the Commonwealth," Kaine said. "Those of us who care about infrastructure, we also understand that our airports could use more investments, our rail systems could use more investments, our public transit systems could use more investments, and the newspaper headlines every day demonstrate that to us. That is the problem in my Commonwealth and that is the problem in our country. But, there's a solution. And the solution is for Congress to be leaders and recognize the importance of infrastructure…When we have the American public behind us, when we have a demonstrated need, when we have civil society behind us, when we have safety concerns, this should be a no brainer for Congress."

Last month, Congress passed a short-term extension of the Highway Trust Fund that will expire on July 31st. Kaine supported the extension, but has repeatedly called on his Senate colleagues to work across the aisle to pass a long-term federal transportation bill that will keep American infrastructure safe and in good repair, while reducing traffic congestion and creating jobs.  

Photos from today's press conference are available here