The proposed 15-mile toll road that would parallel the Dulles Access Road from Tysons Corner to Dulles International Airport won strong support from area business and civic association representatives and commutes who testified at a public hearing last weekend on the $55-million project.
Noticeable by their absence, however, were officials of Wolf Trap Farm Park and the National Park Service, who have yet to take a prosition on the proposed road.
Of major concern to Park Service officials has been traffic noise that could disturb patrons at Wolf Trap Park, whose outdoor amphitheater, the Filene Center, would be within 130 yards of the road.
"We're studying the noise problem and will comment by the (May 27) deadline for written comments." Park Service planner Jack Benjamin said this week. "We're not against the road itself, concerned about its impact on Wolf Trap. And we're delighted that Virginia Highway Commissioner Harold King has promised that there won't be one decibel more noise than currently exists there."
A draft environmental impact statement, now being prepared by the McLean consulting prepared by the McLean consulting firm of Parsons, Brinckerhoff, Quade and Douglas, estimates that Wolf Trap patrons would hear less noise than from the existing access road, with construction of a 1,000-foot long, 10-foot high noise barrier between the toll road and the park. Wolf Trap patrons, who now enter from the access road during performance hours, would enter by the toll road, and Wolf Trap officials say they have been assured that concert-goers would not be charged tolls.
The major purpose of the toll road, according to the draft impact statement, is to relieve traffic already clogging existing roads in the fast-growing western section of Fairfax. The impact statement estimates that area traffic will increase 90 percent by the year 2000.
The road would be built within the federally owned Dulles right-of-way. In addition, 20 acres of unoccupied land would have to be purchased to house maintenance buildings and two interchanges.
John F. Herrity, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, told the hearing, sponsored jointly by the Federal Aviation Administration and the Virginia Department of Highways and Transportation, that failure to build the road could jeopardize 55 percent of the industrially zoned area of the county, between Tysons Corner and Dulles Airport.
A spokesman for one of Northern Virginia's larger employers, the Sperry Corp., said his company supports the road and is "gravely concerned because the present transportation systems are already inadequate."
Loudoun Supervisor Travis Sample said Loudoun residents "for years have bewailed the problems of over-crowded Rte. 7 and envied the present underutilized Dulles Access Road . . . which over 3,000 vehicles a day backtrack and use as a commuter roadway."
The toll road would end the back-tracking, Travis said, and open a major new traffic corridor into Washington when the toll road and access road are connected to I-66. The interstate is slated for completion next year, and the access road extension in 1984.
Despite the strong support, two groups, the McLean Citizens Association and CONTACT, an environmental group that fought against construction of I-66 criticized the draft impact statement as inadequate.
CONTACT spokeswoman Marian Agnew called the statement "a self-serving document prepared by the applicant (the State of Virginia) to justify its decision already made to build the Dullies toll road."
Agnew contended that the statement failed to consider adequately the impact the road would have on Wolf Trap and three nearby community parks. In addition, Agnew said, more study should be given to the effect the road would have on smaller roads where interchanges would be built, such as Spring Hill Road, and future needs of the airport and the possible extension of the Metro subway to Dulles.
The toll road would have interchanges at routes 123, 7 and 128, I-495, Hunter Mill Road, Wiehle Avenue, Reston Avenue, Centreville Road, the proposed Springfield Bypass and special ramps to Wolf Trap.