U.S. House Passes Spanberger Legislation Investing in Local Infrastructure, Employment Access

by Adele Uphaus

The U.S. House of Representatives yesterday approved funding requested by Rep. Abigail Spanberger for two local projects—improvements to the American Job Center in Fredericksburg and infrastructure and public safety improvements in Stafford County.

Spanberger secured the funding for both projects as part of the House’s appropriations package for fiscal year 2024.

The Stafford projects include $1 million to “widen and realign approximately 0.45 miles of Onville Road to provide 12-foot travel lanes with curbs and gutters, a two-way left turn lane down the center of the roadway, dedicated turn lanes at the Barrett Heights Road and Garrison Woods Drive intersections, and 5-foot sidewalks along both sides of the roadway,” according to a press release from Spanberger’s office.

The goal of this project is to improve pedestrian safety and relieve congestion in the area—especially traffic into and out of Marine Corps Base Quantico.

Spanberger also secured $500,000 to complete improvements along U.S. 1 near Courthouse Road, another highly congested area. The project will widen the highway and provide dedicated left-turn lanes onto Courthouse Road, Bells Hill Road, and Hope Road, and will add a median and sidewalks.

The third Stafford investment included in the package is $246,000 for a computerized emergency dispatch system for the Stafford Sheriff’s Office, which will enable dispatchers to identify “the most appropriate and personalized response to emergency police calls,” according to the press release.

Spanberger worked with local officials to identify these needed improvements.

“Smart, localized infrastructure improvements are responsible uses of federal dollars,” she said in the press release. “I’m grateful to Stafford County for working directly with my office to move these valuable projects forward.”

The appropriations package also includes $200,000 for the American Job Center in Fredericksburg, which provides employment services and job placements. This investment will allow the Bay Consortium Workforce Development Board to bring the facility up to standards required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), thereby lowering barriers to employment.

Improvements will include ADA-compliant workstations, furnishings, fixtures, and equipment, as well as high-speed internet access for job seekers and staff.

“Our local economy is only as strong as our workforce. Valuable community resources — like the American Job Center in Fredericksburg — exist to help make sure all Virginians looking to join the workforce have the support they need to jump-start their careers,” Spanberger said in the press release. “The center is already making a real impact for hundreds of Virginians, and this investment would make a real difference to address labor shortages and lower barriers to employment for even more Virginians in the Fredericksburg region.”

Managing Editor and Correspondent