Battlefield bypass added to transportation priority list

Hank Silverberg,

WASHINGTON – Building a road does not happen overnight, but some major projects have been started or completed in the last few years. Now, local transportation planners are looking decades ahead.

The Intercounty Connector is open in Maryland. The Express Lanes on the Virginia Beltway and I-95 are either under construction or moving ahead. And congestion studies have shown great success at relieving backups at the new Woodrow Wilson Bridge.

So, the National Capitol Region Transportation Planning Board is now moving up the priority of some long talked about projects.

Among them, relieving the the bottleneck on Route 29 in Prince William County through the Manassas Battlefield. That includes a four lane, nine mile bypass connecting Prince William County to Fairfax County that would eventually be included as part of the proposed Tri-County Parkway into Loudoun County.

Council of Governments Transportation Planning Director Ron Kirby says the federal government has committed to $300 million dollars for that key component.

“Once agreement is reached on this project and environmental studies are done, the Department of the Interior will find the money for that bypass,” he says.

The target date for actual completion would be 2035. But Kirby says moving the project up could mean an earlier completion date. Once the bypass is built, Route 29 through the Battlefield would be closed.

Other projects included on the 2012 list include a boulevard from the 11th Street Bridge to Barney Circle in the District, bus rapid transit from the Van Dorn Metro station to the Pentagon Metro Station in Northern Virginia, and an auxiliary Lane on I-395 from Duke Street to Seminary Road in Fairfax County to help alleviate some of the traffic created by the new Mark Center.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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