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Friday, April 24, 2015

NVTA, CTB ANNOUNCE NEW FUNDING FOR U.S. 1 IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS

**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**
April 24, 2015

More information:   
Megan Howard, 
703.850.8618

NVTA, CTB ANNOUNCE NEW FUNDING FOR U.S. 1 IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS
Local Leaders Applaud Acceleration of Funding for U.S. 1 Road Widening & Multimodal Transit Improvements

Mt Vernon, VA—The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) and Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) announced two separate projects this week to improve the U.S. 1 Corridor in Northern Virginia.

The CTB’s new Six Year Improvement Plan (SYIP) proposes $4 million allocated to fund the preliminary engineering and environmental impact analysis for Phase I and II recommended by recently completed the Route 1 Multimodal Study. This would include planning to lay the groundwork to implement median-dedicated bus rapid transit from Huntington to Fort Belvoir as an intermediate measure leading to a two-stop extension of the Yellow Line to Hybla Valley.



In addition to the CTB funding, NVTA voted to fund $1 million as part of the FY 15-16 Two Year Program to widen U.S. 1 between Napper Rd. (Costco) and Mt. Vernon Memorial Highway (Fort Belvoir) on top of $9 million provided from federal surface transportation funds. The NVTA Funding will provide for the initial design and environmental analysis of widening the three-mile segment, reserving space for the future bus rapid transit system contemplated by Phases I and II of the U.S. 1 Multimodal Transit Alternatives Analysis Study and constructing a sidewalk and multi-use path along the entire improvement.

“I am very pleased to hear that widening Route 1 in Hybla Valley is moving forward,” Senator Toddy Puller stated, “I have fought for improvements to Route 1 for over 20 years, patroning my first piece of legislation for Route 1 back in 1994. These improvements will provide congestion relief and economic opportunity to our community."

The NVTA had originally recommended not funding this project this cycle. However, after Fairfax County Board Chairman Sharon Bulova and Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay requested an NVTA hearing on U.S. 1, over 130 people attended the public hearing and voiced the desperate need for the U.S. 1 Road Widening.

“Improving Route 1 is a high priority for Fairfax County,” Chairman Bulova stated. “This is exactly the type of project the General Assembly had in mind when it approved historic transportation funding legislation in 2013. The planned improvements for Route 1 is regionally significant, will reduce congestion, and will provide commuters and visitors with new travel options. These investments, along with federal funds already committed by the NVTA, will help attract new private investment to the corridor. As Fairfax County’s representative on NVTA, I am pleased to be able to advance this important transportation project.”

In addition to the support expressed at the public hearing, Delegate Scott Surovell and 44th District House of Delegates Candidate Paul Krizek submitted five hundred petition signatures urging prioritization of the project in this year's two-year plan.

Delegate Scott Surovell stated, “The community spoke loud and clear that it is time to start getting shovels in the ground on U.S. 1, making improvements to our core transportation infrastructure in this part of Fairfax County, and laying the groundwork for high quality transit as we move to extent the Yellow Line south to Hybla Valley. U.S. 1 has not been widened in my lifetime between Lorton and Alexandria and this project, coupled with the $180 million federally-funded widening currently underway through Fort Belvoir, will help alleviate congestion, facilitate the redevelopment of our community, and help us finally adjust to the massive job and population gains occurring at Fort Belvoir since the last round of the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC). The funding of this project is a validation of strong community grassroots action and the hard work of our federal, state, and local officials to make U.S. 1 redevelopment a priority for Northern Virginia."

House of Delegates Candidate Paul Krizek, a long-time Mount Vernon resident, went on to say, "This is very good news and just shows the power of the Mount Vernon-Lee community when it speaks with one strong voice. I am very proud of the almost 500 citizens that signed Del. Scott Surovell and my petition that we circulated, and the 130 citizens that came together at the NVTA hearing last month. Clearly our message was heard. I especially want to recognize our many community institutions and their leaders that testified in support of this important funding for Rt. 1, including from the Southeast Fairfax Development Corporation, the Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber, the Mount Vernon Council of Citizens Associations and our Mount Vernon Transportation Commissioner, among many others."

Lee District Supervisor Jeffrey McKay stated, “When we needed it most, you and your neighbors turned out in droves to support the widening of Route 1 and helped us secure some much-needed funding for the project. Together, we’ve secured a total of $10 million in investment from the NVTA for design, environmental work and possibly some land acquisition for this critical project. We’ve got great momentum going on Route 1 and this news certainly keeps it going.”

Following the completion of the Ft. Belvoir $180 million road-widening project, this segment of the road would be the narrowest portion of the U.S. 1 Corridor in Fairfax County. This large bottleneck currently acts as a hindrance to economic development and a safety concern for emergency personnel.

The project further implements the vision of the U.S. 1 Multimodal Study which recommended a widening of the road to six lanes in Fairfax County, Bus Rapid Transit from Huntington to Woodbridge and the extension of the Yellow Line to Hybla Valley in October 2014.

Senator Adam Ebbin stated, “As a Senator representing Mt. Vernon, and as a member of the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, I am proud to have voted to the overdue widening of Route 1. This will make a big difference in the long-term.”

Mount Vernon District Supervisor Gerald Hyland added, “This is yet another significant step forward in the transformation of the Richmond Highway corridor. The community and elected officials from the Fairfax County Board and General Assembly worked together to achieve this vital investment in Mount Vernon’s future.”

According to the NVTA, over 90% of the public comments they received on their two-year plan related to the U.S. 1 widening in Fairfax County as can be seen in the public comment summaries presented to the full NVTA Board. The NVTA Project Implementation Working Group Memorandum containing the public comment summaries can be found at: http://www.thenovaauthority.org/PDFs/Meetings/2015/4.23.15/VII%20%20Adoption%20of%20the%20FY2015-16%20Two%20Year%20Program.pdf

Both projects build on the momentum of the Route 1 Multimodal Study and implement the vision of a first-rate transit corridor. The U.S. 1 Multimodal Alternatives Analysis Study was passed by Senator Toddy Puller (D - Mt. Vernon) and Delegate Scott Surovell (D - Mt. Vernon) in 2012 and funded in 2013 with $2 million of state money. The Final Report for the U.S. 1 Multimodal Alternatives Analysis can be found at bit.ly/us1multimodalanalysisreport.

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