Gerry Connolly knows that reducing traffic congestion is important to our quality of life and vital if we want to continue to grow our economy. As a local government leader, he initiated Fairfax County's first dedicated transportation plan. That plan included widening Route 123, improving the Braddock Road/Route 123 interchange, launching the Richmond Highway Express (REX) bus line, and achieving final approval for Rail to Dulles.
In Congress, he has fought for new transportation projects and fast-tracked projects already underway. He secured funding to bring Metro to Dulles International Airport and fought to advance some of that funding to save $15 million in finance charges. In addition, he has introduced legislation to study the extension of Metro to Fort Belvoir and to Prince William County. Connolly worked with Democrats and Republicans in the regional delegation to secure $150 million a year in funding to buy new rail cars and equipment for Metro. He was also instrumental in securing $65 million federal funding to complete the Fairfax County Parkway project, widen the Prince William Parkway, and improve the I-66/Rte. 29 Interchange in Gainesville. He also secured funds to purchase new VRE locomotives, improving reliability and energy efficiency.
Recently, he worked with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and a bi-partisan group of regional leaders to cut nearly $1 billion in unnecessary costs from the Rail to Dulles project, allowing the project to move forward and reducing the pressure to raise tolls on the Dulles Toll Road. He is also working with Democrats and Republicans to secure federal bond financing that will bring down project costs and save money for Toll Road users.
Connolly has also worked to promote Transit-Oriented Development that allows people to live, work, play, and shop without driving. In 2009, he received the Liveable Communities Award from the Coalition for Smarter Growth for his efforts to promote smart growth and development in places like Merrifield and Tysons Corner.