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I-66 widening back on, but VDOT gets a wake up call

On February 18 the Metropolitan Washington Transportation Planning Board removed the I-66 widening from its Air Quality Conformity Assessment document, denying Virginia one approval necessary for construction.

At today’s meeting of the Board, that decision was reversed as part of a compromise resolution put forth by Fairfax County member Cathy Hudgins. The compromise resolution approved by the Board restores the I-66 project to the AQCA, which means VDOT will be able to move forward with construction on the funded segment (section 1 out of 3). However, the resolution also requires Virginia to:

  1. Complete the current short-term I-66 BRT study by October.
  2. Conduct a second longer term multi-modal study considering HOV requirements, congestion pricing, managed lanes and road improvements, and to complete that study before any additional money is allocated to sections 2 or 3.
  3. Work with Arlington, Fairfax and Falls Church to provide unspecified mitigating enhancements to the local street/trail network in the corridor.

The compromise resolution keeps the widening moving forward while clearly sending the message to VDOT that the TPB expects it to take multi-modalism seriously. Ms. Hudgins crafted a very fine compromise despite being in a very difficult political position. She should be commended.

March 18th, 2009 | Permalink
Tags: government, transportation



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