The highway is only a line on a planner's map, but roadblocks are going up in an effort to stop construction of a four-lane road in Fairfax County near Herndon.
On one side in the controversy are residents of the Kingston Chase and Hiddenbrook subdivisions north of Herndon. They want the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to delete from the county's five-year comprehensive plan a divided highway, designated as Wiehle Avenue, that would link the proposed Springfield bypass and Loudoun County.
On the other side in the dispute is the Herndon Town Council. Members say the Wiehle Avenue bypass is needed to keep heavy traffic out of Herndon, and they want Fairfax County supervisors to leave their plan alone.
"Without this road, traffic through Herndon could well double," Herndon Town Manager Edwin D. Martin said. "If the road is removed from the planning map, houses will go up on the right-of-way and everything will be lost. But it's totally beyond our control."
Fairfax supervisors are scheduled to vote on the comprehensive plan July 26. By then, Nancy Falck of Dranesville, the supervisor whose district includes Herndon, hopes to find a solution to the Wiehle Avenue controversy.
"I represent both sides," she said. "And my best guess is that Wiehle Avenue will not be removed from the comprehensive plan. The question is: Would a two-lane road be more satisfactory, particularly since Wiehle Avenue hooks up with a two-lane road in Loudoun County?
"The citizens in these subdivisions north of Herndon want the road deleted because they didn't realize it was four lanes wide," she said. Falck said she submitted the proposal to delete Wiehle Avenue at the request of the residents.