Loudoun Co. pushes Greenway alternative as a way to avoid tolls

WASHINGTON — Stymied by efforts to sue for lower tolls on the privately operated Dulles Greenway, Loudoun County hopes a $50 million construction project just north of Dulles Airport could offer commuters a new alternative.

The alternative extends Shellhorn Road to Sterling Boulevard to “give a ton of people access to a local road toll-free where they wouldn’t have to pay six bucks each day either way for the Greenway,” said Broad Run Supervisor Ron Meyer.

The plan to extend Virginia Route 643 would cost $50 million. The Virginia Department of Transportation projects it could be done as soon as 2020 if the Transportation Planning Board agrees to add the project to its constrained long-range plan.

As long as it is added this year, Meyer hopes the project could be funded and begin construction in 2018.

The General Assembly has given the Greenway permission to raise tolls slightly each year, and the State Corporation Commission found last year that toll rates are “reasonable.”

Loudoun County appealed that decision to the Supreme Court of Virginia, but Meyer says he recognizes the county cannot count on winning the case.

He says the road could also be a useful connection between Loudoun’s Silver Line Metro stations, which are under construction now and expected to open as soon as 2019.

Two other new major projects proposed for the region’s Constrained Long-Range Transportation Plan would affect Loudoun County drivers: a proposed $58 million project at Route 7 and Battlefield Parkway that could be completed by 2022, and a proposed $15 million project on Riverside Parkway that could be completed by 2018.

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