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Bi-County Parkway pits residents against politicians, lobbyists

5:17 PM, Sep 5, 2013   |    comments
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(WUSA9) -- The "Bi-County Parkway in Virginia" is a highly contested road between I-66 (Prince William County) and Route 7 (Loudoun County) because it will potentially take up land from the Manassas Battlefield Park Historic site and impact up to 110 homes. It's been called the Outer Beltway, the Tri County Parkway, the Bi-County Parkway, and the North South Corridor. Whatever you call it, the road is pitting angry Virginia residents against politicians and lobbyists.

Virginia resident and developer Mary Ann Ghadban says, "They have done every trick in the book. They rename the road every time they get a chance."

Fellow residents Page Snyder and Philomena Hefter, who all live on Pageland Road in Gainesville near Manassas Battlefield, are mad. They say, "Once this is built they are going to shut off commuter traffic on 29, and shut down 234."

Ghadban, Snyder and Hefter haven't been shy to say what they think about the 32-mile stretch of north-south roadway they call a freight cargo road planned to connect I-95 in the South to Route 7 in the North.

Snyder says, " One of my big worries about the road is it's going to cost upwards of $1.5 billion, and all that money is going to a north-south placement instead of where we really need it, which is east-west."

But Bob Buchanan, who formed the 2030 Group to encourage regional cooperation, has a different opinion.  He says, "One of the important links that no one is addressing is the north-south links. We've all kind of been east-west or spirals, if you will ,into the center, where there's a lot of economic growth and development."

The Bi-County Parkway would connect I-66 to Route 50, which is just south of Dulles Airport. Ghadban says it's the the missing 10 miles of the north-south corridor, the only piece from I-95 all the way to Route 7, that's not built.

Although there's been much confusion as to the communication about the new road, Leo Scheffer from the Washington Airport Task Force says, "This project it's been on the map, it's been talked about, it's been in the papers...I'm not sure every resident on Pageland Lane is as upset as three particular ladies."

VDOT says all forecasts indicate that trips will double between Prince William County Parkway and Loudoun by 2040, and the current rural roads not designed for commuter traffic. Dulles Airport also has an expansion plan in place.

VDOT is holding a meeting Thursday with the consulting parties about the 10-mile Bi-County parkway. They'll review the third draft of the programmatic agreement, or legal document, and once signed, the road is a done deal. This meeting is not open to the public.

More information on the Bi-County Parkway is available at bicountyparkway.com 

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