Federal highway officials have reached agreement with Virginia and other states on the controversial use of secondary roadways by twin-trailer trucks. The agreement prohibits the giant vehicles from using Northern Virginia roadways except for the interstate highways.
William Landsidle, Virginia deputy secretary of transportation, said the state reached an agreement with highway officials after submitting in July and February lists designating highways for the trucks. In April, Virginia Gov. Charles S. Robb's administration said it was prepared to go to court if negotiations failed.
The agreements are now part of a final proposal by the Federal Highway Administration listing all interstates and the secondary highways that the dual-trailer vehicles can use.
The proposal, which will be announced in the Federal Register today, no longer includes eight secondary roads in Northern Virginia that had been designated for use by oversize trucks in an original proposal released in April.
The number of designated roads in the District and suburban Maryland was the same on both lists.
Since the agency's April proposal, five states filed lawsuits in the federal courts challenging the designation of routes, according to the agency's announcement.
In Connecticut, highway authorities won a court order forcing the state to allow the trucks on designated roads, the annnouncment says.
Shiva Pant, Fairfax County transportation director, said he was satisfied that federal officials had taken Rte. 7 through Tysons Corner and Seven Corners off the designated list of secondary roads but expressed concern about what other routes the trucks will use to get on and off the interstate.
Maryland transportation spokesman John Bertak said state law restricting the trucks to interstates was changed to comply with the federal highway agency's proposal to allow the trucks on certain secondary roads.
Maryland initially joined with other states concerned about the safety of the oversized trucks on secondary roadways, but state officials said they are now satisfied the designated roads can accommodate the big trucks.
The Federal Highway Administration's proposal is part of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982, which allows truckers to take longer, wider, and heavier rigs onto the nation's highways in exchange for a five-cent-a-gallon fuel tax on the trucking industry.