Funding cuts don’t stop studies

Prince William County and Manassas lost more than $200 million in prized transportation projects when the Virginia Department of Transportation released its draft earlier this month to trim its six-year road-building plan by $29 billion.

Tabled are various major construction projects, including work on the Gainesville Interchange, a grade-separation project in Manassas, and upgrading the Va. 123 and Va. 234 intersections along U.S. 1.

Funding for improvements to secondary roads like Minnieville and Linton Hall roads also was slashed.

It is almost as if road-building in the near future has come to an end for area commuters.

Should those interested in transportation improvements take time off until 2008?

Not unless they want to be left out of the planning.

State planners and private consultants continue to measure the needs and feasibility for big-ticket items such as a Western Transportation Corridor, Interstate 66 upgrades, an extension of Va. 234 north of Manassas and upgrading U.S. 1.

Next week, the input received in public meetings for a study on improving Interstate 66 is scheduled to be released, making way for the next phase in the study: development of upgrade alternatives.

In the following weeks, public hearings are scheduled on plans to add a lane to Interstate 95 and a study to add lanes to the Capital Beltway.

Nine major transportation studies affecting Prince William continue or are about to begin:

Public input can be given for the Western Transportation Corridor study 24 hours a day at (866) WTC-INFO. The Western Transportation Corridor would run from Interstate 95 in Stafford County to Va. 7 and would pass through southern Fauquier County, western Prince William County and west of Washington-Dulles International Airport. An overview with updates is at The next round of public hearings is this summer.

The Tri-County Parkway is planned to go where Godwin Drive dead-ends on Sudley Drive northeast to Fairfax County and then north to Loudoun, alleviating traffic on Va. 28. A study is under way. For information, e-mail [email protected] or call (866) TRI-LCTN.

The Manassas National Battlefield Park Bypass study held public meetings in December. The study is trying to identify ways to relocate portions of U.S. 29 and Va. 234 out of the park. Public meetings on developed alternatives could be scheduled this summer. For information, e-mail [email protected] or go to

A draft has been completed of the Manassas National Battlefield General Management Plan, but its finalization depends on the park bypass study.

The study of extending the Va. 234 bypass north into Loudoun County, along a realigned Va. 659, was set to begin last year with $3 million in funds available. Funding is still available in the six-year plan and the study is scheduled to begin this summer.

A public hearing on the proposed one-lane widening of Interstate 95 from Fairfax County Parkway to Va. 123, a project that will not be funded until after 2008, will be held June 6 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Gunston Elementary School.

An I-66 Multimodal Transportation and Environmental Study is expected to be completed in three years. The study is looking at ways to improve mobility in the congested corridor. Public meetings were held in January and a summary report on the meetings will be released next week on the study Web site, The study office can be reached at (866) 463-6466. The next round of hearings could be in late fall when planners come back with alternatives. The study would lead to improvements in addition to those already envisioned: adding an additional High Occupancy Vehicle lane and regular lane each way on I-66 from Va. 234 to U.S. 29; and adding a lane from along I-66 from U.S. 29 to U.S. 15.

A Capital Beltway public hearing will be held Tuesday from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Springfield Hilton, 6550 Loisdale Road. Three proposals are recommended for upgrading the Beltway. More information is available at

An interactive map of the 27-mile U.S. 1 corridor with proposed realignments and widening concepts is at

And for updates on the region’s two biggest construction projects, go to and

Staff writer Chris Newman can be reached at (703) 878-8062.

Similar Posts