Sen. Mark Warner stops in Harrisonburg to speak on infrastructure bill

Published: Aug. 23, 2021 at 5:34 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Virginia Senator Mark Warner (D) made a stop in Harrisonburg Monday, near the Route 33 overpass on East Market St. to discuss the recently passed $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill and the need for it to move through the U.S. House of Representatives.

“This is really once in a generation kind of money, my hope will be this is why we need our legislators, our local legislators and whoever’s looking to be the next governor to make a commitment that the whole state is going to benefit from this, not just our biggest population areas,” Warner said.

Warner says if signed, part of that money will be used on Virginia’s most needed road improvement projects.

Virginia Secretary of Transportation, Shannon Valentine, had also stopped in the Friendly City and says I-81 is at the top of that list.

“The needs along this corridor have been evident for decades I think Del. Gooditis said since the 80s. We know this is a priority, we would like to complete the work along this corridor,” Valentine said.

The bridge where the group met is a VDOT project with money set aside for, but Warner said it’s aging infrastructure like bridges that the money could be used for.

“A lot of this will not only go into exits but also interstate improvements,” Warner said. " There’s still a lot of places where the road is curvy for the kind of truck traffic we got and these kinds of interstate projects have just been pushed off and pushed off.”

The bill also provides $65 billion to go towards broadband connectivity across the country, which could be used to bring high-speed internet connection to the Valley’s rural areas like Page County.

“If you’re talking about bringing new jobs to Page County, you need broadband, there’s an awful lot of homes that doesn’t have broadband,” Warner said. ”I think this matters to someone in Page County as much as it does to someone in Fairfax, maybe even more.”

The bill now heads to the House of Representatives, which is currently out for August Recess, and likely won’t take up the measure until fall.

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