NPS wades into debate over Bi-County Parkway

WASHINGTON – The man in charge of Manassas National Battlefield Park says he wants to set the record straight about plans for the proposed Bi-County Parkway.

The 10-mile road would connect Manassas with Loudoun County and funnel traffic around the battlefield. Currently two state roads run through the heart of the park, which federal officials want to change.

“You would have to close 234 to get the Bi-County Parkway. And there’s nothing in between that we at the National Park Service will agree to,” says Manassas National Battlefield Park Superintendent Ed Clark.

“We have a pretty strong position at the table,” Clark says of the federal government’s role in the decision dictating how or if the parkway is ever built. “That is a part of the deal: there will be no Bi-County Parkway if the roads in Manassas [battlefield] aren’t on the table for closure.”

But Clark assures neighbors and commuters that Route 234 would not be closed to traffic inside the battlefield boundaries until its replacement, the proposed parkway, is built and open to traffic.

Neighbors are concerned that shutting off Route 234 and adding traffic calming measures to Route 29, which is a commuter route, would cut them off from accessing nearby Gainesville.

Building such a parkway has been discussed for years, but the project was dusted off and championed by Gov. Bob McDonnell’s administration.

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WTOP’s Hank Silverberg contributed to this report. Follow @hsilverbergwtop and @WTOP on Twitter.

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