Chessie Trail Bridge Opens

Virginia Military Institute and project partners including Rockbridge County, the cities of Buena Vista and Lexington, and Friends of the Chessie Trail cut the ribbon on a new bridge over the South River on December 10th. The ribbon-cutting marks the culmination of a multi-year effort to secure grant funding, design, and construct a bridge to replace an original railroad bridge that was damaged and scrapped after Hurricane Isabel flooded the area in 2003. The missing bridge created a significant gap in the seven mile-long Chessie Trail, which connects Lexington to Buena Vista. For more than ten years, Chessie Trail users had to take a circuitous on-road detour to travel the length of the Trail. In 2016, CSPDC assisted VMI and local partners with a U.S. DOT Eastern Federal Lands Access Program (EFLAP) grant application to construct a new bridge. EFLAP awarded VMI nearly $2 million for the project, which broke ground in December 2020.


Waynesboro Park and Ride Lot Upgraded

The expansion of the Town Center Park and Ride commuter lot in Waynesboro, which began construction in March 2022, was completed in November 2021. The $1 million project increased parking capacity from 120 to 175 parking spaces, installed a bus pull off and two covered bus shelters, and repaved and improved on location lighting. Additional amenities included bicycle racks, sidewalks, landscaping, and infrastructure to accommodate future electric vehicle charging stations.

In the first two months of operating, the Afton Express stopped at Town Center, at an existing bus shelter near Target. Afton Express buses now stop at the new, dedicated bus pull off in the enhanced commuter lot.

2021 Facts & Figures Documents Published

One of the CSPDC’s roles in economic development is to be a resource for data about the region and the PDC’s localities. To help support this important function, the CSPDC creates and distributes Facts & Figures, an easy-to-read snapshot of each sub-region’s people, jobs, schools, and other unique attributes. The 2021 Facts & Figures documents are now available on the CSPDC website.

PDC Housing Development Program Kicks-Off

In July, the CSPDC announced that it received $2 million in funding towards the development of new housing initiatives in our region through Virginia Housing’s PDC Housing Development Program. Through this grant, the CSPDC will award gap funding to non-profit, private, and public sector developers to go toward the creation of at least 20 affordable housing units in the region by July 2024.

On December 9th, the CSPDC held a housing roundtable – the meeting provided an overview of the PDC Housing Development Program, and provided information on the requirements and timeline for the grant. CSPDC staff also provided a data overview on the ‘State of Housing’ in our region, and facilitated a discussion around affordable housing opportunities and challenges. More than 70 participants registered the event, including representatives from member local governments, non-profits, and private development firms.

On January 3rd 2022, the CSPDC will release a Request for Proposals for affordable housing developers seeking grant funds. The RFP will remain open for a month, and will then be reviewed by CSPDC staff. The CSPDC expects to announce funding decisions by March 2022. More information on the PDC Housing Development Program, including RFP information and grant guidelines, can be found here. The CSPDC will release guidelines in advance of the grant application on Wednesday, December 15th.

$1.2 Trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Passed in November

President Biden signed the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) into law on November 15, 2021. The bill covers spending from FY22 through FY26, and includes reauthorization of the FAST Act, the prior five-year federal transportation spending plan.

Of the $1.2 trillion, $550 billion is new spending, and $284 billion is allocated for transportation improvements. The State of Virginia will receive $7 billion for highway improvements, $1.2billion for public transportation, $738 million for water infrastructure, $537 billion for bridge repairs, $106 million for electric vehicle infrastructure, and $65 million for broadband.

Funding through existing programs will begin within the next six months. New programs, such as for electric vehicle infrastructure, will likely take more time to begin. CSPDC staff will continue to track the bill, and will inform localities of upcoming IIJA funding opportunities

2022 Project Impact Calendar

2022 Project Impact Calendars Now Available

The 2022 Shenandoah Valley Project Impact Preparedness Calendar will be available for pick-up the first week of December at local government buildings and libraries or by contacting the CSPDC. The calendar contains preparedness tips and mitigation strategies for dealing with severe weather, emergencies and disasters, as well as fun holidays for each day of the year.

This year, sponsorship of the calendar is being provided by Sentara RMH Medical Center. The theme of the 2022 calendar is “Community Heroes.” Using historic photos, each month highlights different ways members of our communities have stepped up to help us all navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic.

For additional information, contact Rebecca Joyce, at or 540-885-5174 ext. 112.

Share Your Input on Potential Congestion and Safety Solutions at I-81 Exit 235 along Weyers Cave Road (Route 256) and Route 11 in Weyers Cave

The Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro Metropolitan Planning Organization (SAWMPO) is studying how to address congestion and safety issues at I-81 Exit 235 along Weyers Cave Road (VA 256) between Triangle Drive and Route 11 near Blue Ridge Community College.

The survey is seeking public input on the area’s congestion and safety needs, and the proposed
solutions. The survey responses will inform the final study recommendations. The survey is
available online from December 3 to December 22, 2021 at:

Weyers Cave Road at I-81 Exit 235 serves regional destinations such as Blue Ridge
Community College and the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport. During peak travel times,
traffic back-up on the interstate bridge makes it difficult to turn left onto the I-81 north and south
bound ramps, and to access Route 11.

Those unable to access the online survey can provide comments about the I-81 Exit 235 study
in the following ways:

  • By email:
  • By mail: Write to Zach Beard, Transportation Planner, CSPDC/SAWMPO, 112 MacTanly
    Place, Staunton, VA 24401.
  • By phone: Call 540-885-5174, ext. 117. Voice mail will be recorded and transcribed.

The SAWMPO is the regional transportation planning organization for Staunton, Augusta
County, and Waynesboro, and consists of representatives from local, state and federal
governments, transit agencies, transportation providers, and other stakeholders. For more
information, visit