Feedback sought on Northern Virginia road priorities

This article was written by WTOP’s news partner InsideNoVa.com and republished with permission. Sign up for InsideNoVa.com’s free email subscription today.

The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority is asking for feedback on a slew of funding requests for its six-year program update this year, including nine projects in Prince William County and Manassas.

The county is seeking over $444 million in funding for eight projects, while Manassas is asking for almost $9 million to widen Liberia Avenue with a third eastbound lane between Route 28 and Euclid Avenue.

All told, the authority announced 26 candidate projects submitted by Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties; the cities of Alexandria, Falls Church and Manassas; and the towns of Leesburg and Herndon.

The nine jurisdictions are requesting over $1.2 billion in the newest six-year program, which is updated every two years. In 2020, more than $1.4 billion was requested for 41 projects, and NVTA approved $539 million for 21 projects. In order to qualify for six-year program funding, a project has to already be included in the authority’s long-range TransAction plan.

The NVTA is looking for public comment on the entire list of 26 projects, with an online form the region’s residents can fill out as well as a remote public hearing that the authority will hold on May 12.

The form and information about opportunities for feedback can be found at thenovaauthority.org/syp-comment.

Prince William’s eight applications are entirely road or interchange-focused, with requests of $96 million to widen Old Centreville Road from the Fairfax County line to Route 28, $80 million to extend Van Buren Road from Route 234 to Cardinal Drive, $67.5 million for a new interchange at Prince William Parkway and Minnieville Road, $61.2 million for the U.S. 1 and Route 123 interchange and $53 million to extend University Boulevard from Devlin Road to Wellington Road.

The county is also asking for funding to widen Devlin Road from Linton Hall to University Boulevard, Old Bridge Road from Colby Drive to Minnieville, and Neabsco Road from U.S. 1 to Daniel Ludwig Drive.

Of all 26 applicant projects, 19 are primarily meant to widen or extend roadways or build new interchanges. Six projects, mostly from localities in Washington’s inner suburbs, are aimed at improving bike, pedestrian or transit facilities. The biggest items in those categories are an $80 million second entrance at the Ballston-MU Metro station in Arlington and $80 million for the Route 1 bus rapid transit system in Fairfax.

The NVTA’s public comment period will run until May 22, after which authority staff will make recommendations on which projects to fund and the NVTA’s board will take a final vote on project funding in July. NVTA leadership has not indicated how much funding it expects to allocate in the newest six-year program update.

Prince William’s 2022 request is almost double the dollar amount it asked for in 2020, when the county asked for $237.5 million for 11 projects but only received $22 million.

“With limited resources, we have to make some difficult decisions,” NVTA CEO Monica Bakcmon said when the authority passed its 2020 round. “The needs always outweigh the funding.”

In 2020, the county requested $237.5 million for 11 projects and received only $22 million for two projects, connecting Annapolis Way to Marina Way in North Woodbridge and the Summit School Road extension/Telegraph Road widening.

This article was written by WTOP’s news partner InsideNoVa.com and republished with permission. Sign up for InsideNoVa.com’s free email subscription today.

 

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