The proposed Springfield bypass, which has been called Northern Virginia's "Outer Beltway," has been reduced to three possible routes but still is encountering citizen objections.
While there is no money presently budgeted for the 30-mile, limited-access highway estimated to cost at least $135 million, construction could start on the road in 1986 if the state highway commission approves a route later this year, according to Virginia transportation officials.
Some 17 different combinations of the three routes are being studied as part of an enviromental impact statment now being prepared on the highway. The proposed four-to-six lane road would stretch from Route 1 at Fort Belvoir to Route 7 at Reston.
"I haven't heard anybody speak in favor of this project" since it was first proposed in the early 1970s, Martha Brown told state highway officials at the first of three public information meetings on the road this week. The final meeting will be held next Wednesday at 8 p.m. at the Chantilly Secondary School.
"Has anybody considered just junking it . . . It's incredible that in 1980 you can be proposing highways" like this, said Brown. "Surely the money could be diverted to Metro and links to it." Brown and several of the 50 residents attending the meeting supported the "no-build" alternative also being studied by the consulting firm doing the environmental review of the proposed road.
However, Carole Jubb, who lives near Brown in the Villages, a subdivision beside Fort Belvoir that could be bisected by the bypass, accused state and county officials of pretending to consider a no-build alternative when the state and county already are committed to the road.
The bypass is one of several "top priority" highway projects of Fairfax County but both the consultants and state highway officials at the meeting insisted that the entire Bypass need not be built -- although they said the section that would connect to the future Franconia Metro subway station is considered crucial.
"We aren't in cahoots. We are studying a no-build alternative," said an official of the consulting firm of Tippetts, Abbett, McCarthy and Stratton (TAMS), that is studying the 98 miles of possible routes for the 30-mile bypass Several possible routes being considered last fall when the first public hearings on the road were held have since been dropped, including routes that would have cut across several county parks.
Most speakers at the first of the current informational meetings, held by the state to keep citizens posted on the planning progress for the road, objected to particular routes the bypass might take and the impact they would have on existing neighborhoods.
George Adams III, who is deaf and spoke through an interpreter hired by the state for the meeting, opposed two of the proposed bypass routes because they would connect to Route 1 at Sacramento Drive and the Villages subdivision and pass "within 10 yards of my house and beside the village swimming pool."
James Novotny, a resident of the Beverly Forest subdivision, said two of the proposed routes will "sandwich our neighborhood in between I-95, Backlick Road and the bypass," isolating it and increasing noise and air polution.
"The ramps will take up our whole neighborhood and will go by our lake, which is why people moved there," said Camille North Wiley, president of the 100-member Beverly Forest Civic Association.
At least one neighborhood favors the bypass or at least portions of it. Clara Lipsey of the Springfield Civic Association said "traffic circulation in our area is impossible now and there will be problems with Metro (the Franconia station) unless something is done." However, she asked "is it necessary to develop the whole bypass corridor?"
Ending the bypass near Fort Belvoir is a recent proposal. The bypass was planned to connect to the proposed Van Dorn-Lockheed Boulevard Connector, but officials said at the meeting that controversial road could not be built in time and might never be built, although the state highway department still favors it.