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Connolly Announces Inclusion of Community Project Funding Requests in House-Passed FY24 Appropriations Package

Today, Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA), the Ranking Member of the House Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Information Technology, and Government Innovation, announced that the House adopted fourteen of his Community Project Funding (CPF) requests in the first of two FY24 appropriations packages. The funding package passed the House 339-85.

“I am proud to have secured more than $12 million for projects across Fairfax County,” said Connolly. “This funding will go toward increased support for our most vulnerable neighbors through a new domestic violence shelter in Fairfax and modernization of the Capital Area Food Bank in Lorton, road and infrastructure improvements like a potential backup drinking water source for the DC region, and important public safety efforts. I look forward to seeing these federal dollars put to good use for the betterment of all of us who call Fairfax County home.”

The following Community Project Funding requests from Congressman Connolly, totaling $12,308,279, were included in the first FY24 appropriations package:

Social Support:

Project: Fairfax Family and Domestic Violence Shelter
Recipient: Fairfax County Government
Amount: $4,116,279
Background: Currently, Fairfax County’s family and domestic violence facilities are beyond their useful lives. In the case of the domestic violence shelter, the current physical location also presents unique security challenges for the residents and staff. Rather than construct entirely new facilities, the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA) has identified an existing “extended stay” style hotel, which it intends to purchase and convert for use as a secure domestic violence shelter and a family shelter. This will entail combining rooms, creating service and office space, and other changes to the existing hotel setup. The project will help establish a modern, safe family and domestic violence shelter in an easy-to-reach, opportunity-rich area next to a police station that will give residents the ability to access transit, services, and employment as they and their families begin to rebuild their lives. This request is an important part of the overall project cost, as this project will have a huge impact on the approximately 50 families that will use the facility on a daily basis. This project represents an opportunity to deliver this essential, brand new facility years earlier than might otherwise be accomplished.

Project: Capital Area Food Bank’s Lorton, VA Facility Reconstruction
Recipient: Capital Area Food Bank
Amount: $1,000,000
Background: The Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB) is critical to Northern Virginia’s hunger relief infrastructure. The food bank’s warehouse in Lorton, Virginia is the vital food distribution hub for a network of 165 nonprofit partners and 158,000 food insecure individuals. However, the warehouse desperately requires modernization to keep up with the demand of the region. Therefore, the food bank is engaging in a reconstruction of the facility. The current Lorton facility was built in 1982 by Frito Lay. At just 12,000 square feet, the warehouse was never retrofitted to meet the food bank’s operational needs following acquisition in 1998, with severely inadequate pallet storage and truck bays. There is no volunteer space, and the building is not ADA accessible. Further, to meet the continued heightened community need, the food bank is renting a second temporary facility in Virginia. Given these inadequacies, the food bank is reconstructing a modernized facility. CAFB is demolishing the current facility in April 2023, breaking ground in May 2023, and plan for project completion by late summer 2024. A feasibility study determined that demolishing and rebuilding on the current plot of land is the most cost-efficient and effective path forward as the food bank owns the land and it is within 10 miles of over 75 percent of our partner organizations. CAFB has obtained proper permitting for demolition and reconstruction, and operations out of the Lorton facility have fully shifted to the secondary, temporary Virginia facility as of April 2022. Service to the community will remain fully functional out of this temporary facility until completion of the reconstruction. The new facility will have 42,000 square feet of warehouse space, in addition to 3,000 square feet of newly dedicated volunteer space. The new facility will have nearly eight times the amount of pallet racks (1,700), and four times the amount of truck bays (8) than the current facility. The facility will meet LEED Silver designation and ADA accessibility guidelines. This project will allow the food bank to deliver 300 percent more food to Northern Virginia partners and clients.


Project: Fox Mill Road and Pinecrest Road Intersection Improvements

Recipient: Fairfax County Government

Amount: $850,000

Background: The purpose of this project is to improve traffic operations and pedestrian safety at the intersection of Fox Mill Road and Pinecrest Road. The Fox Mill Road and Pinecrest Road intersection is a four-way intersection with two-way stops on the Pinecrest Road eastbound and westbound approaches. The intersection currently experiences significant delays during peak periods of the day and is approached from the west over a significant hill. In addition, there are limited pedestrian facilities. These characteristics have resulted in unsafe conditions and many traffic incidents over the past several years. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has conducted a signal warrant study, which determined that a signal is necessary at the intersection. As a result, a temporary traffic signal was installed in 2021. The project also includes pedestrian improvements at the intersection, including crosswalks on all four legs and accessible curb ramps. The project will improve safety at the intersection of Fox Mill Road and Pinecrest Road, mitigate congestion in the area of Fox Mill Road and Pinecrest Road, and improve pedestrian and bicycle facilities in the area, including by providing pedestrian and bicycle access to the nearby Reston South Park and Ride Lot.

Project: Silverbrook Road and Lorton Road Intersection

Recipient: Fairfax County Government

Amount: $850,000

Background: The intersection of Lorton Road with Silverbrook Road/Sanger Street supports significant turning volumes to and from the residential communities north of Lorton Road, the I-95 Interchange, and the Richmond Highway corridor. The significant turning volumes at Silverbrook Road, paired with the recurring congestion along the corridor, has resulted in operational challenges at the intersection. The intersection modifications will improve operations of right-turns from westbound Lorton Road onto northbound Silverbrook Road, and the left-turn from southbound Silverbrook Road onto eastbound Lorton Road. Lorton Road connects Route 123, I-95, and Richmond Highway (Route 1), three regionally significant north-south corridors. This project will help mitigate congestion at this intersection and its roadways, improving mobility in this corridor. The high volume of traffic traveling through the intersection contributes to an average of seven crashes per year, with nearly half of the crashes resulting from rear end collisions. These improvements will help increase safety at this intersection. The project will also include bicycle and pedestrian facilities, which will improve mobility and accessibility for those living in, and traveling through, this area.

Project: Route 28, Route 29, and Stone Road Trail

Recipient: Fairfax County Government

Amount: $500,000

Background: This project includes the construction of a trail from the I-66 interchange to an existing trail running along southbound Route 28, upgrading 800 feet of existing sidewalk to a shared use path (SUP) on the north side of westbound Route 29. It will also replace an existing sidewalk along the north side of Route 29. The I-66 corridor is an economically important area that is routinely congested. The Commonwealth of Virginia is currently undertaking the Transform 66 Outside the Beltway project, which will transform Northern Virginia’s Interstate 66 into a multimodal corridor that moves more people, provides reliable trips, and offers new travel options. A component of this corridor in Fairfax County is this trail, which will provide more than 11 miles of connectivity from Gallows Road, Dunn Loring (just outside the Beltway) to Centreville. This project connects to some of the area’s major regional trails, such as the W&OD Trail via Gallows Road, and provides improved mobility and travel choices. The project will enhance pedestrian and bicycle safety, accessibility, and connectivity in the local pedestrian network.

Project: Fairfax County Trenchless Sewer Rehabilitation

Recipient: Fairfax County Government

Amount: $850,000

Background: This project will support Fairfax County’s trenchless sewer rehabilitation program of publicly owned sewer pipes and will allow for an additional 11 miles of aging infrastructure renewal. Fairfax County currently rehabilitates on average 20 miles annually out of 3,400 miles of total pipe. This funding will increase the rate at which aging sewer pipes can be rehabilitated by an additional 50 percent. Trenchless relining requires no digging and is completed for each pipe segment in one day. Trenchless relining reduces infiltration and inflow of water into the sewer, and reduces sewage from overflowing into the environment, protecting water quality and public health. Many of Fairfax County’s sewer pipes were constructed between 1960 to 1990, in 50 miles sections. Many of the older sewer lines in the system are reaching the end of their life cycle and either need to be replaced or rehabilitated. Additional funding will accelerate the asset renewal rate for aging sanitary sewers. Rehabilitating sanitary sewer lines before they fail ensures uninterrupted service to the community and prevents sanitary sewer overflows, which would negatively impact the environment. Trenchless rehabilitation technology extends the life of assets by 50 years or longer. Lining sewer pipes is much less expensive than excavating and replacing failing pipes, and the rehabilitation of the system is achieved with minimal disturbance to the community and surrounding environment.

Project: Town of Herndon, Virginia - Widen East Spring Street

Recipient: The Town of Herndon, Virginia

Amount: $1,000,000

Background: This project is located within the Town of Herndon – Fairfax County, Virginia at the Spring Street/Herndon Parkway intersection and extends to the town limits at Fairfax County Parkway. The project scope is to widen and reconstruct Spring Street from four to six lanes between Herndon Parkway and Fairfax County Parkway; channel traffic with raised median, through lanes and dedicated turning lanes between Fairfax County Parkway and Herndon Parkway; add turning lanes on approaches to the intersection of Herndon Parkway and Spring Street; and include ADA sidewalk improvements and adds 2-way cycle track from W&OD Regional Trail to connect to Herndon Metrorail. The project is a multimodal design providing enhanced safety countermeasures, active transportation facilities and congestion relief near the town's transit-oriented development zone and the Herndon Metro Station. The project responds to significant annual crash data by closing the median along Spring Street and will include new traffic signalization and accessible audio pedestrian/bike signal controls. In addition, the eastern terminus of this project abuts the Fairfax County Parkway and will address multi-jurisdictional congestion concerns. The project will help reduce traffic congestion, facilitate vehicular access to and from the Fairfax County Parkway, and increase the efficiency of the intersection of Spring Street and Herndon Parkway.

Project: W&OD Trail & Town of Vienna Initiative

Recipient: Town of Vienna

Amount: $1,000,000

Background: This project is a collaboration with NOVA Parks to revise and improve assets along the W&OD Trail (within the Town’s boundaries). The Town of Vienna is located at approximately the mid-point of the 45-mile W&OD Trail. This trail is one of the most popular rails-to-trails in the nation, with two to three million users per year. More specifically, this project would support the acquisition of property to build a welcome center, potentially expand the Town Green, and make improvements for the development of a safe dual trail network for bicyclists and pedestrians. The visitor center will provide restrooms, bike rentals, and food for trail users; serve as a platform for activities and events; and provide information about Vienna, other regional parks and more. The goal of creating a W&OD visitor center is part of the NOVA Parks 2023-2027 Strategic Plan. The project goal is to create a vibrant destination that supports the Town’s economic development goals while providing a safe space for bicyclists and pedestrians to use the trail network which goes through the Town’s commercial core and connects to other jurisdictions and commercial centers in the region.

Project: Washington Region Secondary Water Source Feasibility Study

Recipient: Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments

Amount: $500,000

Background: Pursuant to the Water Resources Development Act of 2022, which was signed into law on December 23, 2022, this project would fund a feasibility study conducted by the United States Army Corps of Engineers on a secondary drinking water source and additional drinking water storage capability for the region. The Potomac River is the metropolitan Washington region’s primary source for drinking water, the only major metropolitan area of the country to have no redundancy built into its water supply. If there were an accidental chemical spill upstream, a natural disaster, severe drought, or a deliberate attack on the region’s water infrastructure, there is no backup source for water storage or supply. A total loss of Potomac River water supply would lead to all of D.C. and Arlington losing water within 24 hours and much of Fairfax, VA and suburban Maryland losing water within days. The full impact of a water supply shortage is not fully known, but the potential for a humanitarian and economic crisis should not be underestimated. Recognizing its critical importance, Congress entrusted provision of water to our nation’s capital to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers which owns and operates the Washington Aqueduct. Due to the impact to all the numerous federal agencies residing in and around the nation’s capital, resiliency of the water supply for the region requires action from the federal government in collaboration with the regional water utilities, as well as state and local partners, by working together to address this potentially devastating, but avoidable water supply challenge.

Public Safety:

Project: Enhancing Safety and Security at Northern Virginia Airports and Associated Metro Stations

Recipient: George Mason University

Amount: $296,000

Background: Through this project George Mason University’s Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy (CEBCP) will develop evidence-based prevention measures at Reagan and Dulles airport metro stations to increase safety at both those stations and their connected airports. The CEBCP will use its expertise to understand the nature of crime and disorder problems at entry points to the airport (like associated Metro stations) and how those points of entry can be best secured, while at the same time improving customer satisfaction, confidence, and security when using these transportation hubs. The safety of the airports and Metro system is a top priority for residents, visitors, customers, and employees of Northern Virginia. This collaboration would contribute to improving crime prevention and ridership confidence in the Metro and at the airports. Millions of domestic and international visitors use these transportation systems for civic, business, residential, and tourism activities that are central to Northern Virginia’s communities. It is vital to the economic well-being of Northern Virginia that visitors, employees, and community members feel confident, safe, and satisfied when using Dulles International and Reagan National Airports. There remains little knowledge and evaluation of combined airport and public transit security measures to mitigate security risks at those locations. For these reasons, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police Department (MWAA PD) has entered into a cooperative agreement with the WMATA Metro Transit Police Department (MTPD) to apply prevention measures at airport Metro stations to increase safety at both those stations and their connected airports. The MWAA PD has asked the CEBCP to help evaluate, assess, and improve these security measures using evidence-based approaches and knowledge. The CEBCP’s evaluation would provide a critical service to Metro riders and customers of Dulles and Reagan National and the Washington Metro system by providing an analysis for MWAA PD to understand and assess the impacts of their work on public safety and ridership confidence in Northern Virginia. An evidence-based approach can also sharpen the cost-benefits of police activity by optimizing resource utilization.

Project: Enhancing Emergency Communications Resiliency and Effectiveness Through AI

Recipient: George Mason University

Amount: $961,000

Background: This project will enable George Mason University to work with local first responders to improve emergency communications using artificial intelligence (AI). The potential benefits of this work will include: 1) 9-1-1 calls can be directed more effectively using AI-enabled apps, which should both reduce response times and lighten the workload on 9-1-1 call centers in ways that can scale and be available 24/7. Moreover, these approaches can be used to consolidate the information and categorize it to improve decision support for public safety officials and first responders. The calls can be tailored to the 11th District’s major languages and anonymized as needed. 2) Public feedback can be gathered in near-real time by using these same approaches. This could help first responders see what’s happening sooner (Like flagging multiple co-located reports of “My street is flooding!”) and understand public sentiment while the disruption is occurring, rather than waiting for post-event surveys. 3) The project will work with local IT personnel and emergency managers to use AI to help them implement comprehensive guidance on cyber resiliency like that issued by the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) and adapt the guidance to their circumstances. This could reduce the likelihood of IT disruptions in emergencies. The project will reduce response times in emergencies by enhancing situational awareness for public safety officials, lightening the load on 9-1-1 call center operators, improving stakeholder engagement, and reducing the likelihood of IT disruptions during emergencies. The project includes three parts: (1) coordinating available data to support decisions better during emergencies and disasters, (2) integrating public feedback in near-real-time, and (3) improving cyber resiliency. The project will result in significantly more effective emergency management and public safety functions, as well as the increased resiliency of the underlying IT infrastructure.

Project: Night Vision Thermal Enhancement Technology Modernization

Recipient: Fairfax County Government

Amount: $250,000

Background: The Fairfax County Police Department (FCPD) will use this funding to purchase new Night Vision Thermal Enhancement technology for the SWAT and Canine Sections of the Office of Special Operations Division (SOD). The FCPD SWAT team is the only Tier 1 level tactical team in the Northern Virginia region, as well as the only full-time standing unit in Northern Virginia. The Canine Section is made up of 15 pairs who are deployed 24/7 and serve as field consultants for SOD when needed. This technology will enhance the ability of both the SWAT Team and Canine Section to apprehend violent, armed individuals. Utilizing Night Vision Thermal Enhancement Technology lessens the likelihood of needing to use force to apprehend a suspect, increasing safety for officers, suspects, and the surrounding community while ensuring public safety. It will also enhance safety in the field for officers working with large groups through “tagging” technology to locate other team members, providing a safer, more efficient response.

Project: Cyber and Forensics Division Equipment Upgrades

Recipient: Fairfax County Government

Amount: $135,000

Background: This project will update and replace equipment used by the Fairfax County Police Department (FCPD) in the investigation of crimes. This includes the upgrade of aging forensic equipment, the procurement of advanced technology to reduce time spent on the processing of crime scenes, and the replacement of non-functional computer equipment in a mobile surveillance vehicle. These items will increase efficiency and accuracy of investigations and allow investigators more time to focus on other aspects of a wide range of investigations, including opioid trafficking, sexual assaults, human trafficking, and threats of violence in the community. Specifically, the funding request is for the following: Advanced scanning technology to allow for increased efficiency and accuracy of crime scene documentation. These are laser systems used to make 3D maps of crime scenes. These newer handheld units can be deployed into smaller, more cluttered spaces, allowing for better modeling than the current tripod models. Replacement of a non-functional mobile surveillance platform, which has been rendered unusable due to the failure of the computers in the surveillance van. A replacement on-board server and new cameras will revitalize a very valuable tool in the fight against crime, furthering investigations into opioid and narcotics trafficking, terrorist plots, and other threats. Upgrades to evidence analysis equipment (fuming chambers). The current fuming chambers are still functional but are starting to require costly repairs to remain in service. Advances in technology have now made available higher quality, more efficient instruments that could improve officers’ ability to process latent evidence. Replacement of old fuming chambers should improve both accuracy and the quality of analysis on recovered latent evidence. Updating the equipment used to preserve evidence, as the old equipment is near its end of life (drying cabinets). Upgrading and improving the drying area/equipment will allow for better preservation of biological evidence and latent DNA. This is especially important in investigations of violent crimes against persons.

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