The major North-South highway that is being planned for Loudoun and Prince William counties got a public rollout of sorts last week. “Open houses” were held at Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn and the Four Points Sheraton in Manassas. There were no formal presentations for this new “Northern Virginia North-South Corridor,” just a series ofinformational boards that showed roughly where the limited-access highway would go and why local and state officials think it’s needed. This is not just the previously discussed Tri-County Parkway between I-66 and Route 50. This is the whole enchilada: a 45-mile limited-access highway from Route 7 in Ashburn all the way to I-95 in Dumfries. And the discussion is now officially beginning about extending this road across the Potomac River into Maryland, which makes the warnings from environmental and smart-growth groups of an emerging “Outer Beltway” connecting with the Intercounty Connector and then I-95 in Maryland seem more plausible.
With less than two weeks notice, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) scheduled two public meetings this week on their "North-South Corridor of Statewide Significance," a revival of the long-controversial Outer Beltway. Not only are the meetings set amid the busy holiday season when it's hard for local residents to attend, but the comment period is scheduled to close on January 2nd, the day after the long holiday week -- a time guaranteed to ensure that few people will have the time to comment. Moreover, the meeting notice cannot be found on the main VDOT website, but is instead on a little known VTRANS website and the meetings will not be conducted in an open public hearing format.
Status Report: Northern Virginia Bi-County Parkway and North South Corridor of Statewide Significance
The General Assembly of Virginia directed the Commonwealth Transportation Board, with assistance from the Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment, to conduct a comprehensive review of transportation needs in corridors of statewide significance and regional networks.
Today, Virginia Secretary of Transportation Connaughton issued a press release announcing a study of traffic across the Potomac. While seemingly an innocuous study, the Secretary's intention -- based on the news last spring that Governor McDonnell and Secretary Connaughton had been pressing Governor O'Malley and his staff on new Potomac River Bridges -- is certainly to pursue new upriver bridges.
Contact: Stewart Schwartz, CSG, 703-599-6437 Chris Miller, PEC, 703-507-5790 Jenni Brewer, NTHP, 202-588-6380 Pamela Goddard, NPCA, 202-454-3365 Morgan Butler, SELC, 434-977-4090 Groups Urge Virginia to Stop Unnecessary Highway and Save Historic Battlefield New Highway Proposed on Site of 150th Anniversary Weekend Reenactment of First Battle of Manassas Washington, D.C. (July