County Road Program Trimmed by $34 Million
By Stephen C. Fehr
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, July 15, 2004; Page VA03
State transportation officials have cut $34 million from the county's secondary-road program, which has the effect of canceling or delaying six key widening projects throughout Fairfax.
The cuts, part of $1 billion trimmed from Virginia's proposed six-year transportation program, were necessary because there is not enough money in the state budget to pay for the program, officials said. The six-year plan allocates money for future mass transit and road projects.
Fairfax has already seen $121 million in reductions to the county's interstate highway and primary-road program, affecting eight projects, including interchange improvements and widening of Interstates 95 and 66. Those were approved last month by the state transportation board.
The latest round of cuts, disclosed to county supervisors Monday, involve secondary roads such as Telegraph Road, which connect to primary roads and interstate highways.
The road plans affected, all of them widening projects, include:
• Centreville Road between West Ox Road and Frying Pan Road. The advertisement date for construction bids was supposed to be January 2007. The new date is November 2007.
• Rolling Road between Old Keene Mill Road and Hunter Village Drive. The advertisement for bids was scheduled for July 2008. The new date is July 2010.
• Telegraph Road between South Kings Highway and Hayfield Road, and Telegraph Road between Beulah Street and Hayfield Road. Both were dropped from the program.
• Stringfellow Road between Route 50 and Fair Lakes Boulevard. The bid advertisement date has been delayed from July 2009 to July 2011. However, the county staff is working with Virginia Department of Transportation officials to speed up this project if voters approve the transportation bond issue in the Nov. 2 election.
• Pope's Head Road between Ofaly Road and Lewisham Road. Officials have eliminated $700,000 from the project. The impact of this reduction is unclear because the project will be revised in response to comments made at a public hearing, officials said.
Supervisors complained about the double whammy of cuts to the interstate highway and primary-road program and the secondary-road program. They said the state already shortchanges Fairfax roads.
"The state's in desperate need of a reality check," said Supervisor T. Dana Kauffman (D-Lee). "Not only did they fail to get beyond a barebones approach, they stripped an additional 24 percent from our county secondary-road plan -- a program that was inadequate from the get-go. Roads weren't delayed or dropped because they were no longer needed. At this rate, next time candidates campaign from the side of the road, folks may take aim."
Among the cuts to the interstate and primary-road system approved last month were improvements at the Capital Beltway and I-66; planned high occupancy vehicle lanes at the Springfield interchange (Interstates 95, 395 and 495); pedestrian improvements at nine places in Tysons Corner; the rebuilding of the Route 28 and Route 29 interchange; adding a fourth lane on I-95 between the Newington interchange and the county line; and widening Dranesville Road between Elden Street in Herndon and Route 7.
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