Va. wants new Potomac bridge, but Md. not interested

The paving operation between the American Legion Bridge and the Old Dominion Drive overpass is scheduled for the overnight hours through October 9. (Courtesy of Maryland State Highway Administration)

WASHINGTON – Would a new Potomac River bridge make commuting easier?

Virginia transportation officials want to explore the option. But Darrell Mobley, Maryland’s acting secretary of transportation, let it be known that Maryland is not interested.

In a letter to Sean Connaughton, Virginia’s transportation secretary, dated Oct. 26, Mobley wrote that Maryland’s Department of Transportation does not intend to revisit the years of debate regarding new crossings of the Potomac River.

Instead, the letter explains, Maryland will focus on existing infrastructure, including the American Legion Bridge.

Some Marylanders are happy with the decision. Roger Berliner, a Montgomery County councilmember, thanked Mobley for opting out of further study.

Montgomery Countryside Alliance, a group that wants to protect agricultural reserves, also supports the decision, fearing that any link south of Point of Rocks would carve out a swath of agricultural land.

But business and transportation officials in Virginia have been looking for ways to link the tech corridors in both states and for a solution to the interstate gridlock.

WTOP’s Kate Ryan contributed to this report. Follow @KateRyanWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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