For months, folks in the Loudoun County town of Round Hill have been feuding with the state over a long-delayed plan to build a two-mile bypass around Round Hill on Rte. 7.
Now, spurred by a fatal automobile accident earlier this year and several recent wrecks on Rte. 7, the Round Hill Town Council has fired off a letter to the state highway department demanding the project start before 1986--the year bidding for the construction is scheduled to take place.
"This thing was supposed to get started in 1985 and now we're told we have to wait until 1986," said Round Hill Mayor Jeffrey H. Wolford. "I just wonder whether they'll tell us then to wait till 1988 for it."
More than 3,500 cars use Rte. 7 through the heart of Round Hill each day, and that number probably will increase with the onset of the fall. "You can barely get out of town when the leaves start turning and people are out for a drive," Wolford said. "And when the truckers come through at night, the whole town shakes."
The bypass would carry most Rte. 7 traffic around the southern side of Round Hill, which is about 12 miles east of Leesburg in the western part of the county.
Wolford and the other five council members also are complaining about present plans to make the bypass only two lanes instead of four.
"The lack of funds has caused the majority of our problems," said Thomas F. Butler, a state highway engineer in Leesburg. Although funding for preliminary studies of the bypass have been approved, it will be 1987, the end of the current six-year planning period, before the work can proceed.
"And even then, the funding will have to come through," Butler said. Meanwhile, building the $8 million Purcellville bypass, which would funnel traffic back onto Rte. 7 at Round Hill's eastern border, is slated for 1985.
"With that extra traffic, Round Hill's problem will probably get worse than it is now," said Butler.