202

Idea of 2nd bridge over Potomac to be debated next week

FILE -- Commuters slowly move over the American Legion Bridge, connecting Northern Virginia and Montgomery County, Md., during afternoon rush hour Friday, June 1, 2001. (AP Photo/Leslie E. Kossoff)

WASHINGTON — A second bridge over the Potomac River connecting Virginia and Maryland north of Washington will be considered during a meeting between elected officials and transportation planners.

The plan has been debated for more than 50 years, with elected officials in Maryland and Virginia having starkly different views on the plan.

National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board member and Loudoun County Supervisor Ron Meyer said the bridge is his “number one” priority for the Northern Virginia region, and that he thinks there’s a disconnect between Maryland’s Montgomery County’s political class and commuters.

Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner said the bridge “will not happen.”

“It is a zombie bridge,” he said. “It just keeps rising from the dead and it’s time to stop.”

Berliner said Maryland’s transportation dollars would be better spent widening Interstate 270 and the American Legion bridge, which links Maryland’s Montgomery County and Virginia’s Fairfax County.

Council member George Leventhal added to Berliner’s comments, saying a bridge could damage the area’s protected agriculture reserve and slice through valuable real estate.

“This is just manifestly not in Montgomery County’s best interest,” Leventhal said. “It’s not logical or practical.”

The North Capital Region Transportation Planning Board is set to vote at its July 19 meeting on whether the idea should be studied further.

WTOP’s Nick Iannelli contributed to this report.



Advertiser Content