Tag: Tri-County Parkway

Update on The Bi-County Parkway: A Chance to “Take a Second Look”

During his campaign, Governor McAuliffe said he would take a hard-look at the controversial $440 million Bi-County Parkway, reevaluating this project and others proposed by VDOT. In his campaign platform, under the section titled “Pick the right projects; build the best ones,” he stated:

Prince William’s reexamination of the Bi-County Parkway comes at important moment

Prince William County’s Dec. 3 decision to reexamine its position on the Bi-County Parkway comes at an important moment in the long, contentious debate over whether the road should be built, opponents say.

The parkway, a controversial 10-mile road that would connect Interstate 66 in Prince William and Route 50 in Loudoun County, faces several hurdles in the coming months, said Stewart Schwartz, the executive director of the Coalition for Smarter Growth, which opposes the project.

Federal transportation authorities are examining the parkway proposal, but the final outcome probably rests with the administration of Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe (D), Schwartz said. McAuliffe said during his campaign that he would study the issue, and it’s unclear whether his administration would push the Bi-County Parkway when his term begins Jan. 11.

Schwartz said he hopes that state and federal transportation officials consider the board’s recent decision. “The new governor will hopefully ask for a major reevaluation,” Schwartz said. “The views of local elected officials . . . can carry weight.”

In a 7 to 1 vote, the Prince William Board of County Supervisors agreed to conduct a $100,000 study of the project to determine whether it should remain part of the county’s Comprehensive Plan, it’s long-term planning document. Supervisor W.S. Covington III (R-Brentsville), a supporter of the parkway, was the only vote against the move.

It’s unclear whether the board’s study will have any effect on the process. Supervisor Peter K. Candland (R-Gainesville) said supervisors should hold a simple up or down vote on the parkway itself.

The Bi-County Parkway has been the subject of much heated discussion over the past year. Supporters say the road is necessary to bolster economic development and connect two of the fastest-growing counties in the country. Opponents — particularly those who live in the path of the proposed route — say that the road would affect their property and way of life, as well as the county’s federally protected Rural Crescent and the historic Civil War grounds near Manassas National Battlefield Park.

Bob Chase, president of the Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance, which supports the road, told supervisors before the vote that nothing has changed despite the ongoing debate. Northern Virginia is growing, and new transportation infrastructure is needed for traffic and job growth, he said.

“As John Adams said, facts are stubborn things,” Chase told the board. “There are certainly a lot of wishes, inclinations, surrounding these issues. . . . The need for the Bi-County Parkway is well documented.”

Candland, a vocal road opponent, said supervisors chose the easy way out by appearing to take action without actually staking out their position. Because the vote was technically on a study to determine whether the parkway should be removed from the county’s Comprehensive Plan, Candland said the action meant little.

“Certain individuals don’t want to take a straight up-or-down vote on the Bi-County Parkway,” Candland said. “Enough is enough. We’ve talked about this issue ad nauseam.”

Candland said time is of the essence because the Virginia Department of Transportation is moving forward on an agreement with federal transportation authorities, upon whose approval the project is contingent. Once that agreement is signed, supervisors may no longer have a voice on the issue, Candland said.

Supervisor Martin E. Nohe (R-Coles) said supervisors might have more time than they think as McAuliffe considers his position on the subject.

County staff members plan to study the parkway and other area roads in a comprehensive traffic, road and land-use analysis. That study would then go to the Prince William County Planning Commission, and supervisors would have a final vote on the Bi-County Parkway and other area improvements, a process expected to take about a year.

 Read the original article on Washington Post >>

Joint Environmental Groups’ Letter to Terry McAuliffe against Bi-County Parkway

Dear Governor-Elect McAuliffe: Congratulations on your victory and thank you for your support for so many of our conservation and smart growth priorities. With regard to transportation, we are particularly pleased with your support for building sustainable communities, seeking the least intrusive solutions, adapting infrastructure to serve community needs, and commitment to “pulling the plug” on transportation projects that fail to meet these standards. In keeping with those priorities…

Bi-County Parkway Means Traffic Solution or Fresh Mess

outer beltway 3A new route through some of Prince William County’s rural north is pitched as pro-business and part of the area’s transportation solution, but critics have lined up to push back on a new run of pavement through a part of the region happy to be away from gridlock.

The Commonwealth Transportation Board recently approved a master-plan study for what’s become known as the “Bi-County Parkway,” a 10-mile road that would connect I-66 in Prince William County with Route 50 in Loudon County.

“This parkway would make people’s lives better,” said Bob Chase, president of the Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance. “It provides faster, safer transportation, and takes people off local roads.”

The road’s purpose is to ease the horrendous traffic that currently plagues the area, while also providing easier access to the Washington Dulles International Airport for residents of these counties. The Virginia Department of Transportation estimates that the road could carry nearly 42,000 vehicles a day by 2020 to combat the area’s exploding population.

“We see this as a vital north-south link for Prince William and Loudon,” Chase said. “It’s a common sense solution that makes employment centers accessible and takes traffic off existing roads.”

The parkway is also seen as an economic boon for the region.

“Not only will the road reduce traffic congestion between the counties, but it will also help the region connect with the airport,” said Leo Schefer, president of the Washington Airports Task Force. “The airport’s an economic engine for the area, and better access to it helps encourage businesses to locate nearby.”

The road also has the potential to benefit the airport itself by increasing the number of passengers and encouraging more cargo to pass through Dulles.

“It would allow for a better flow of passengers and information through the airport, and cargo is a part of that,” said Christopher Paolino, media relations manager for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. “That would be a net positive for everyone, since as the airport grows, the region grows, and vice versa.”

But critics of the parkway are worried that road may harm the nearby Manassas Battlefield and Prince William’s Rural Crescent.

“This road could forever harm the landscape and the acres of historic sites it would cut through,” said Stewart Schwartz, executive director of the Coalition for Smarter Growth. “Residents have real concerns about the damage that this could cause to the community.”

Schwartz’s coalition has worked with other groups in developing a study finding that the parkway will only add traffic to the area, not ease it.

“If you build it, people will try to use it, and that creates congestion,” Schwartz said. “It’s also likely that this will bring pressure from developers to convert the Rural Crescent, and that will bring even more traffic.”

The group has also developed an alternative plan aimed at dispersing traffic by improving the interchange between Route 28 and I-66 and extending Metrorail service to Centreville, avoiding the need for the parkway.

“Our best hope is to improve our existing transit options and to build compact, walkable neighborhoods with public transportation,” Schwartz said.

Some local politicians echo the road rage, particularly Del. Tim Hugo (R-Centreville).

Transportation officials were trying to get the road done quietly, Hugo said. “But people woke up.”

The fight over the road has sent longtime political allies in Prince William County to opposing corners. Hugo argues support for the project is developer-driven.

“This is the wrong project at the wrong time, and the response from the people has been overwhelmingly in opposition,” Hugo said. “This road could create a commuter crisis from Fauquier to Fairfax.”

Proponents argue the goal is to get cars from one end of this rural area to the other, not increasing development within these communities. Shefer said the parkway can include easements around the road and limits on the number of exits to restrict development.

“If it’s designed the right way, then the parkway won’t harm the rural presence, but preserve it,” Schefer said.

Some changes have already been made to resolve some concerns about access and impacts on historical sites. As the project continues to take shape, Schefer and others are hopeful that the final product is controversy-free.

“The key is for everyone to work together, in order to help improve connectivity and save people time,” Schefer said. “There’s no reason this can’t be a win-win for everyone.”

Photo courtesy of VDOT.

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Bi-County Parkway debate fueled by research from both sides

One of our regular readers brought to our attention an issue that we haven’t been covering: Northern Virginia’s proposed Bi-County Parkway. The parkway would connect Prince William and Loudoun counties, but it has sparked an impassioned debate about our region’s growth trends.

outter beltwayOn the one side, the Coalition for Smarter Growth has done research that says that the parkway would create more sprawl, congestion, and traffic. CSG released the findings of a study on the subject last week and proposed a “common-sense, comprehensive alternative.” (CSG, 7/17)

On the other side, the 2030 Group – led by developer Bob Buchanan – commissioned a report from GMU’s Stephen Fuller which determined that our region’s continued growth will include a big increase in car use. The group is using this finding to support their push for the parkway. (WaPo, 7/21)

Here’s more context for the debate – the Washington Post’s coverage since September 2012. We’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject in the comment section. What are the pros and cons? (The good and the bad, not the professionals and convicts.)

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Leesburg Council Passes Resolution Against Bi-County Parkway

The Leesburg Town Council voted 5-2 Tuesday night to pass a resolution opposing the North-South Corridor and its components, despite firm requests – some have called them threats – from Loudoun Board of Supervisors Chairman Scott K. York and Loudoun Chamber President Tony Howard not to do so.

The resolution opposes construction of the Bi-County Parkway (formerly the Tri-County Parkway until shifted west several years back), which is a component related to the North-South Corridor aimed at improving connectivity between Prince William County and Dulles International Airport and the surrounding area. The corridor itself actually refers to an area, not a specific road; however, the construction of the Bi-County Parkway would complete a new direct four-lane path from I-95 in Prince William County to Route 50 in Loudoun. In its entirely, it would link I-95 all the way to Route 7. All segments of that connection are planned for at least four lanes of traffic, with few interchanges and plenty of traffic lights.outer beltway 2

The Loudoun Chamber and Board of Supervisors as well as the state have put their support behind project, but a majority of the Leesburg Town Council believes the road would spark denser development in Loudoun’s Transition Policy Area and dump traffic on Route 7 that would overflow onto town streets.

“The problem I have with the North-South corridor is that … as with Prince William County, they’re concerned about protecting the Rural Crescent; in Loudoun we’re concerned about protecting the low-density transition area,” said Mayor Kristen Umstattd.

Umstattd and at least one other councilmember also pointed out that Interstates 95 and 81 were only four lanes in sections.

“I don’t want to see another I-95 or Interstate 81 coming up from 95 and dumping onto Route 7,” Umstattd said.

The Chamber’s Howard called that point “a completely misunderstood representation of what this project is proposed to be.”

Howard said the four-lane road, which would have traffic signal primarily instead of interchanges, would in no way resemble those interstates.

“I’m very disappointed in the vote,” Howard said. “The actions they took yesterday weren’t necessary. It’s not reasonable that Leesburg will see any increase in traffic, because the Bi-County Parkway is 15 miles away.”

Councilmember Marty Martinez said the council could not look only at the Bi-County portion of the corridor because the roads will all connect, and drivers will find them.

“They’re all going to connect eventually,” he said. “It is going to impact Leesburg and I have to be concerned about that.”

Councilwoman Kelly Burk said the chamber was putting business interests over those of residents.

“Economic development gets higher consideration than anything else – the environment, the community,” she said.

The council’s resolution included a list of projects it would prefer to see funded instead of the Bi-County Parkway, which the council requests undergo further environmental study.

Council members Kevin Wright and Tom Dunn voted against the resolution.

Opponents of the road held a conference call last week to offer an alternative plan that they said would keep 45,000 vehicles off of Loudoun’s roads. While those vehicles trips, the group acknowledged, would still exist somewhere in the region, they would have fewer impacts on the Manassas National Battlefield Park.

“The Bi-County Parkway makes conditions worse and doesn’t address some important needs,” said Stewart Schwartz, of the Coalition for Smarter Growth, one member of the group of opponents.

Opponents of the road have also argued that it primarily serves business needs, but forecasts show commuters would be the primary users, using the road to escape other congested routes. That would lengthen routes for commuters and prove a minimal benefit and other users crowd the new route, according to opponents.

Fin the full report with executive summary and appendices here.

The group offering the alternative vision for the parkway includes the Southern Environmental Law Center, the Coalition for Smarter Growth, the Piedmont Environmental Council, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the National Parks Conservation Association.

Virginia Sec. of Transportation Sean Connaughton, who is the former chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, previously presented his case for the road in an editorial letter; read the letter here.

Howard said the disagreement would not harm the relationship between the town and chamber.

“We’re still friends,” he said. “The chamber’s going to continue to advocate for the town’s projects.”

The council’s resolution included a list of favored projects, including interchanges at the Route 15 Bypass and Edwards Road, Battlefield Parkway and Route 7 and Battlefield and the Leesburg Bypass. In addition, the resolution urges support for construction of Crosstrail Boulevard between Route 7 and Sycolin Road.

Photo courtesy of VDOT.

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Bi-County Parkway in Virginia will add congestion, groups argue

A coalition of groups critical of the proposed Bi-County Parkway has released a report it says bolsters its case that the roadway could worsen traffic congestion in Loudoun and Prince William counties.

Norman L. Marshall, president of Smart Mobility, which conducted the analysis using data from the Virginia Department of Transportation, said the north-south roadway would create new bottlenecks.

“Building the [Bi-County Parkway] would generate more overall traffic — and more north-south travel — in the study area than would be the case if the [Bi-County Parkway] is not built,” the report said.

The study, released last week, is the latest in the back-and-forth battle over the proposed parkway, which would provide a north-south connection between Loudoun and Prince William counties. Supporters of the roadway say it is needed to accommodate future population growth and promote economic development.

“We’re not just talking about the present, we’re talking about the future,” said Bob Chase, head of the Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance, which backs the road. “The best way to ensure that more people in this region have shorter commutes is to provide more jobs closer to where people live and have a grid that gives them a chance to move north, south, east and west.”

But opponents argue that state officials need to focus on improving existing roadways — particularly east-west connections, such as Interstate 66 — before investing in new roads.

“We believe that their case just doesn’t hold up, from speculative cargo claims, to congestion, to impact on the historic resource and Rural Crescent, to their failure to invest in the many critical projects residents and commuters need today,’’ said Stewart Schwartz, executive director of the Coalition for Smarter Growth, one of the groups that commissioned the $12,000 study.

In a conference call with reporters, leaders of those groups said Marshall’s analysis found that a package of alternative roadway improvements they have proposed would do more to relieve congestion and preserve the historic Manassas Civil War battlefield than the Bi-County Parkway.

The coalition’s plan “addresses a broader set of goals and better protects a historic resource,” Schwartz said.

The Piedmont Environmental Council, the Southern Environmental Law Center, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the National Parks Conservation Association also sponsored the study.

Earlier this year, VDOT conducted its own analysis of the proposed parkway and the list of projects proposed by the coalition. That study showed that if the parkway is built, traffic at many key points along the north-south route would improve.

VDOT’s “thorough” analysis indicates that the Bi-County Parkway is needed, said Tom Fahrney, the department’s project director for the parkway. The study recognizes that traditional commuting patterns have changed in Northern Virginia, he said.

“The jobs are starting to be located outside of the Beltway, and there’s a need for facilities like the Bi-County Parkway to get folks from Prince William to Loudoun,” Fahrney said. “If this road is not implemented, rural roads that are not safe will carry much more traffic than they are today, and we’ll have congestion and safety problems.”

Virginia transportation officials said the coalition’s study assumed that less development would take place in the area — a major difference between the two reports.

VDOT’s study also looked at the project alternatives proposed by the advocacy groups. Transportation officials said those proposals, which include improvements to the Route 28 and I-66 interchange, building interchanges on the Route 234 Bypass south of I-66 and extending Metrorail service from Vienna to Centreville, would cost more than $6 billion and take decades to complete. Coalition groups argue that VDOT’s analysis is misleading because their approach is far more comprehensive.

The coalition’s report comes at a time when some senior elected officials, including Del. Tim Hugo (R-Centreville) and Rep. Frank Wolf (D-Va.), say additional study is needed before the project moves forward.

In June, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, a state body, voted to advance plans tobuild the parkway. But an additional agreement in principle to build the road must be signed by VDOT, the Federal Highway Administration, the state Historic Resources Department and the National Park Service before the project can more forward. State transportation officials hope that will be completed by this fall.

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Public Gets First Input On Transportation Bill Projects

nvtaMembers of the public from Loudoun, Arlington, Fairfax and Prince William counties got their first chance to speak to the full board of the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority Thursday night in a public hearing discussing the projects that could receive funding from the General Assembly’s transportation bill that passed earlier this year.

Twenty-two people, including legislators, representatives of local advocacy groups and individuals giving their opinions, went before the board, and dozens more reviewed the almost 50 projects the NVTA is considering. The NVTA’s priority is finalizing a list of projects that will receive funding for FY14, when there is expected to be $190 million available.

NVTA Chairman Martin Nohe, the Coles District Supervisor in Prince William County, gave a 30-minute presentation before anyone spoke, explaining what the NVTA is and how board members plan to implement the funding. $1.6 billion is expect to come to Northern Virginia over the next six years from HB2313, 70 percent of which will be dispersed by the NVTA and 30 percent going directly to each locality: the four counties and the cities of Manassas, Manassas Park, Falls Church and Alexandria.

The money is intended, essentially, to relieve the high levels of congestion that have plagued the area for years, and only figure to get worse. The main bone of contention among those who spoke was the best way to go about doing that.

“There’s a lack of quantitative information right now to evaluate projects with different modes and different types,” Del. Jim LeMunyon (R-67) who was the first to speak, said. “For every million dollars we spend, how many hours are we putting back into the lives of Northern Virginians? We need to know that.”

Residents in Prince William and Loudoun counties almost unanimously applauded the NVTA’s to fund the widening of several segments of Rt. 28 in Loudoun, Fairfax and Prince William counties.

The projects proposed for FY14 funding are “hot spot” improvements between Sterling Boulevard and the Dulles Toll Road in Loudoun, expanding from two lanes to a four-lane divided roadway from Linton Hall to Fitzwater Drive in Prince William, and widening from three to four lanes southbound between the Dulles Toll Road and Rt. 50 and northbound from McLearen Road to the Dulles Toll Road in Fairfax County.

“I’m here to commend your decision to include the Rt. 28 hot spot improvements,” Jeff Fairfield, speaking on behalf of the Rt. 28 Tax District Landowners Advisory Board, said. “These improvements will alleviate congestion. There’s been a tremendous improvement on removing traffic lights, yet we now experience congestion due to a lack of lane capacity.”

“Rt. 28 relief is needed now,” Gary O’Brien of Manassas said. “There are currently several disconnected projects. What it needs is more transportation capacity, right through the system. Try to consolidate the little plans into a larger system.”

Arlington County Supervisor Chris Zimmerman, the chairman of the Project Implementation working group, said the list of projects proposed for funding was built from existing transportation plans, such as the NVTA’s TransAction 2040, and are closest to “shovel-ready.”

“Our aim has been to, No. 1, follow the law” Zimmerman said. “We began by reviewing what the statutes require of us. In developing criteria, that was first and foremost. It has been our intention to use objective criteria and quantifiable criteria to the greatest degree possible. That is what we have been trying to accomplish.

“Many of the projects, by their nature, will take multiple years to do and have multiple parts. It’s a very complex network; there isn’t a silver bullet. It will take a lot of fixing in different places.”

Many Prince William County residents spoke against potential funding of the Bi-County Parkway, a controversial transportation project stretching from I-95 to Rt. 50 in Loudoun, but the project is not among those included for FY14 funding or on the Six-Year Plan.

Perhaps the most scrutinized debate will be how many funds are devoted to transit projects, pedestrian or bicycle projects, and how much will simply be devoted to increasing capacity on the roads network.

“In a great metropolitan area, you cannot ‘get the red out,’” Stewart Schwartz, the executive director of the Coalition for Smarter Growth, said about relieving intense traffic jams. “We have to account for induced traffic. For the peak-hour commute, there’s nothing better than high-capacity transit. I urge you to resist a return to the old approach, which didn’t work, and focused on a transit-oriented, walkable bikeable future that we need to have.”

The NVTA will hold another public hearing July 24 before deciding upon the final FY14 list at 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 24, at Fairfax City Hall. The public comment period before the Project Implementation’s next working group will close next week. The form, and submittal information, can be found here.

Photo courtesy of Leesburg Today.

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VDOT to increase spending on deficient bridges


VDOT will spend nearly $2.3 billion to upgrade the state’s bridges over the next six years.

“We’re going to spend $564 million in additional state money on bridge reconstruction and rehabilitation,” said state Transportation Secretary Sean T. Connaughton. “This isn’t just about infrastructure. This is about ensuring the public safety.”

The goal is to make sure the percentage of structurally deficient bridges remains less than 8 percent of the state’s nearly 21,000 bridges and culverts.

“There’s a large backlog of bridge maintenance projects that we’re now going to be able to get to,” Connaughton said at the Commonwealth Transportation Board meeting Wednesday in Richmond.

This year, 7.5 percent of Virginia bridges were rated structurally deficient, the Virginia Department of Transportation said.

Nationally, 11 percent of 607,000 road bridges were considered in poor repair, according to figures from the Federal Highway Administration. The average U.S. bridge is 42 years old.

VDOT says that bridges slated to be replaced as structurally deficient in the Richmond region include those carrying Interstate 64 over Airport Drive in Henrico County, Interstate 195 over the Powhite Parkway in Richmond, U.S. 1 over railroad tracks at Bellwood in Chesterfield County, and state Route 13 over Sallee Creek in Powhatan County.

The funds for accelerated bridge work are part of the state’s $17.6 billion allocation for transportation programs for the fiscal year that begins July 1 and continues through the fiscal year that ends June 2019.

The six-year transportation program, including new funding sources for Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads, is $6.2 billion larger than last year’s approved plan, a 54 percent increase. The state Transportation Board approved the new six-year program Wednesday.

The funding increase largely springs from revenue the General Assembly provided this year, the first significant infusion of money into the state’s cash-strapped transportation system since 1986.

Not everyone was pleased with the spending plan.

“This program will be remembered for squandering billions of tax dollars while making Virginia’s patterns of development less efficient, more oil dependent and less competitive,” said Stewart Schwartz, executive director of the Coalition for Smarter Growth.

The plan includes a number of “wasteful mega-projects that have been strongly criticized as unnecessary,” Schwartz said, citing $1.4 billion for the new U.S. 460; $244 million for the Charlottesville Bypass project; the $1 billion-plus North-South Corridor highway in Northern Virginia; and the $2.8 billion Coalfields Expressway in Southwest Virginia.

“We are shocked by the lack of discussion of the spending priorities in the six-year plan, by the failure to tie the program to specific policy goals, and the assumption that simply adding road capacity will solve our transportation problems,” Schwartz said.

The May 23 collapse of an Interstate 5 bridge in Mount Vernon, Wash., has drawn national attention on the issue of bridge safety. In the I-5 incident, a 160-foot span of the four-lane bridge collapsed into the Skagit River after a tractor-trailer with an oversized semitrailer struck the span’s overhead truss structure.

To eliminate the nation’s deficient bridge backlog by 2028, the U.S. needs to invest $20.5 billion annually, though only $12.8 billion is being spent currently, the American Society of Civil Engineers said in its 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure.

According to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, being classified as structurally deficient does not mean a bridge is unsafe.

If a Virginia bridge’s structural rating sinks too low, state highway officials post a lower weight limit on it and increase its frequency of inspections. In the worst case, VDOT closes bridges in poor condition.

Photo courtesy of P. Kevin Morley.

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Va. transportation board approves study that includes Bi-County Parkway

RICHMOND — A state transportation board Wednesday advanced plans for a controversial project to build a parkway connecting Prince William and Loudoun counties.

The Commonwealth Transportation Board, in a 15 to 1 vote, endorsed a master-plan study that looked at potential improvements along the state’s North-South Corridor, a 45-mile route connecting the two Northern Virginia counties.

The vote was denounced by opponents of the Bi-County Parkway, who said board’s decision is a sign that the state is moving forward with the 10-mile road, which would skirt Civil War sites to connect I-66 in Prince William with Route 50 in Loudoun.

Board member W. Sheppard Miller III, of Virginia Beach, voted against moving forward, saying the board’s resolution did not adequately rule out toll roads, which he opposes.

A total of 15 people appeared before the board to comment, and several of them urged Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) officials to delay the adoption of the corridor study, saying that the state has not been transparent about its plans.

“This impacts tens of thousands who are unaware,” said Tom Thompson, who lives near the site of the proposed parkway.

Gary Garczynski, who lives in Woodbridge and represents the board’s Northern Virginia district, said the vote was a small step in a years-long process for the parkway.

“It’s not a foregone conclusion, and I regret to say that a lot of people think it is,” Garczynski said. “From my perspective, that’s just not true. We have a long way to go.”

The North-South corridor is one of 12 designated regions in which state transportation funding priorities are established. The improvements, including the Bi-County Parkway, are designed to improve traffic flow, spur economic development and provide better access to Dulles International Airport, supporters say.

Del. Timothy D. Hugo, a Republican Party leader who represents parts of Fairfax and Prince William counties, was among those who attended the meeting to object to the proposed road.

The board has “created a firestorm. . . . The rationale provided by VDOT [for the parkway] changes every time,” Hugo said. “These people deserve a straight answer.”

Residents say they worry about increased traffic and the fact that the parkway would run through a protected rural area with a rich Civil War history.

The board’s vote Wednesday came after a month’s delay. Concerns were raised by Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-Va.), who wrote a letter to Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R), to say that the state’s process lacked transparency and that more public input was needed. Six Republican state legislators, led by Hugo, have announced that they oppose the road and the state’s handling of the process.

Stewart Schwartz, president of the Coalition for Smarter Growth, has questioned whether a plan for north-south improvements is necessary.

“You started with a conclusion and went backwards,” he said of the adopted study. ““We will look back and realize that we have gained no ground and squandered billions.”