U.S. Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner help secure $2 million in federal funding for Fall Line trail
Funding for trail is included in recently-passed omnibus spending bill
RICHMOND, VA – U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine of Virginia have helped secure $2 million in federal funding for the Fall Line trail through the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022. The funding bill was passed by both houses of Congress and signed into law by President Biden on March 15. The funding will assist in the continued progress of the Fall Line trail, a 43-mile paved, multi-use regional trail spine in Central Virginia.
Once completed, the Fall Line will connect the localities of Ashland, Hanover, Henrico, Richmond, Chesterfield, Colonial Heights, and Petersburg. With 16 miles of the paved walking, running, and biking trail currently in some stage of progress, excitement continues to build for the Fall Line, for the new active transportation connections it will foster in Central Virginia, and for the funding commitments that continue to receive approval.
“The bipartisan spending package passed earlier this month is delivering wins across Virginia. I’m glad to see $2,000,000 headed to Petersburg to fund the southernmost portion of the Fall Line trail,” said Sen. Warner. “The Fall Line trail highlights Virginia’s natural beauty and once finished will connect the Greater Richmond Region.”
“Central Virginia has so much to offer with our rivers and trails. Not only do trails connect our communities; they’re wonderful for exercise and boost our overall quality of life by getting us out into nature,” said Sen. Kaine. “Last spring, I walked part of the Fall Line trail with a group of community members who have been advocating for it, and it’s clear this is going to be a wonderful addition to our communities. I’m glad to have helped secure a federal investment to make it happen.”
State Funding Updates for Fall Line Expected Soon
In addition to federal funding secured by Sen. Kaine and Sen. Warner, with support from additional members of Virginia’s Congressional delegation including Rep. Abigail Spanberger and Rep. Donald McEachin, the Virginia General Assembly is in the process of finalizing a budget that includes funding which could potentially end up being the largest state investment in trails in Virginia history.
Through budget negotiations by state legislators, the House of Delegates and State Senate were able to find funding somewhere between $57 and $90 million, respectively. The proposed House budget would dedicate $14.9 million directly to the Fall Line, among its other dedicated trail line items, and the Senate would establish an Office of Trails that would disburse the funding to trails. State legislators will reconvene in Richmond for a special session on April 4 to finalize the budget.
“We are incredibly grateful for this funding support secured by Sen. Warner and Sen. Kaine,” said Louise Lockett Gordon, Director of Bike Walk RVA for Sports Backers. “The Fall Line will transform our regional active transportation network and will be a legacy of collaboration between federal, state, regional, and local leadership.”
Connecting the Dots of Active Transportation Networks
The Fall Line trail came together as an opportunity to connect the dots of active transportation networks taking shape in the greater Richmond region. Several sections of the trail already existed or were planned in localities’ comprehensive and special area plans. When complete, the Fall Line will link rural, suburban, and urban landscapes and connect a multitude of places of interest and use. Key connections along the trail will include:
- 24 public schools
- 4 colleges/universities (Randolph-Macon College, Virginia Union University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia State University)
- 2 community colleges (Brightpoint Community College, Reynolds Community College)
- 2 major regional trails (Virginia Capital Trail, Appomattox River Trail)
- 3 river crossings (Chickahominy, James, Appomattox)
- Transit connections in Richmond and Chesterfield
- Numerous parks, including Bryan Park, Battery Park, Abner Clay Park, James River Park System, Charlie Sydnor Playground, Falling Creek Trail, Bensley Park, Goyne Park, Ettrick Park
Bike Walk RVA is a program of Sports Backers that advocates for safe and connected bike and pedestrian infrastructure, and is taking a leading advocacy role in the completion of the Fall Line trail. Visit www.FallLIneVA.org and follow @BikeWalkRVA on social media for continued updates on the Fall Line.
About Sports Backers
With a key message of Let’s Go, RVA, the mission of Sports Backers is to inspire people to live actively. A non-profit organization, Sports Backers is dedicated to producing nationally recognized quality sporting events and programs that motivate residents and visitors alike to be more active, supporting youth running and fitness programs, and advocating for safe and connected networks of bike and pedestrian infrastructure. Learn more at www.sportsbackers.org.