Monday, June 13, 2016

Public Comment Deadline on Route 1 Widening!

On Tuesday (6/14) at 6:30 p.m., there will be a public hearing at the South County Government Center regarding allocating $267 million of annual funding for transportation in projects in Northern Virginia possibly including Route 1. 

The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) has $267 million to spend this cycle.  Multiple jurisdictions submitted funding requests.  Fairfax County submitted requests for funding seven projects - (1) I-66 and VA-28 interchange, (2) Frontier Drive extension near Springfield Mall, (3) VA-7 widening in Great Falls, (4) Braddock Road HOV, (5) Fairfax County/Dulles Toll Road widening, (6) VA-28 widening from Prince William to U.S. 29, (7) widening U.S. 1 from Woodlawn to Napper Road (Hybla Valley).

Last year, the NVTA funded $10 million for project design and environmental compliance work for this project.  Delegate Paul Krizek and I submitted over 430 comments in support of the project. 

The NVTA recently announcing scoring for each of the submitted projects.   The NVTA scoring criteria focuses on congestion relief and projects that are shovel ready, and the U.S. 1 widening scored 20th out of 24 projects  because other projects were proposed to be completed earlier.   

Excerpt from Project Description Form Submitted
By Fairfax County
This year's NVTA project application submitted by Fairfax County staff stated that construction will start in 2023 and the project will be open for traffic in 2025

The main reason U.S. 1 in Fairfax County scored low was because of the proposed construction timetable as compared with other projects Fairfax County (and other jurisdictions) submitted.  The NVTA is required by law to give greatest priority to the projects that will give the greatest congestion relief the soonest.

For example, the two U.S. 1 projects submitted from Prince William County scored #6 and #13 on the list. 

Clearly, I am very disappointed both that current planning has this project going scheduled for completion in 2025 and that it is not looking good for getting NVTA funding this round.  I have been a staunch advocate for widening Route 1 and construction bus rapid transit and a Yellow Line extension as soon as possible - not in decades!

The public comment deadline is this Friday.  I have included a form below where you can provide public comments that I will deliver to NVTA on Friday. 

Last year, Delegate Krizek and I delivered a petition with 430 comments to NVTA.  We need to do it again -  Please explain why we need to fund Route 1 improvements now and how congestion on Route 1 is affecting your quality of life today.