By Eileen Houlihan, senior writer/editor, ARTBA

The Virginia Railway Express (VRE) commuter line is just starting a six-year, $1.8 billion capital improvement plan that includes new passenger stations, parking lots, maintenance and storage facilities and other track and signal infrastructure.

VRE is celebrating its 25th anniversary by “building the infrastructure that is going to keep us in business,” Chief Development Officer Tom Hickey Nov. 16 told 40 members of the Metropolitan Washington Road & Transportation Builders Association (MWRTBA), ARTBA’s local chapter. Additional capital improvement projects are being planned through 2040.

VRE serves the District of Columbia and Northern Virginia on two, 96-mile lines and provides transportation to nearly 20,000 riders a day.

VRE partners with the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission and the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission. It operates on existing tracks regulated by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). As such, the group coordinates its traffic with track owners CSX Transportation, Norfolk Southern and Amtrak.

MWRTBA members interested in engineering and construction opportunities with VRE can find information on the www.vre.org website as well as the Virginia eProcurement Portal eva.virginia.gov.

MWRTBA’s members include contractors, subcontractors, materials suppliers, engineering firms, law firms, accounting firms, bonding and insurance firms, the construction equipment industry, and the traffic safety products industry in the District of Columbia and the Metropolitan Washington area. Contact MWRTBA Executive Director Mike Sakata or visit www.mwrtba.org to find out more.