Arlington County plans to rename Lee Highway for abolitionist

Arlington County is paving the way to rename a major highway that currently shares a name with Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

The Arlington County Board said at its Saturday meeting that it plans to vote next month to rename Lee Highway for abolitionist John Langston, who also was the first Black person to be elected to Congress from Virginia.

The five-member board voted unanimously Saturday to defer a final vote to July 17. In a news release, the board said the extra month will allow for additional community engagement and refining the cost estimate.

The county currently estimates the name change will cost $300,000.

The highway, which also carries the U.S. 29 designation, was named Lee Highway in the 1920s. The new name would be Langston Boulevard.

The name change would only cover the parts of Lee Highway that run through Arlington County. Neighboring Fairfax County is considering a new name for the highway as part of a countywide review of all street names tied to the Confederacy.

Arlington County has already recently renamed Jefferson Davis Highway, which was named for the former confederate president.

Robert E. Lee lived for many years in Arlington County.

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