Fairfax County officials plan to recommend this fall a referendum on a bond issue of nearly $135 million, the largest in the county's history, most of which would be used to build two segments of the cross-county Springfield Bypass.
The bond issue would channel more than $90 million for construction of a little more than eight miles of the 35-mile bypass, which Fairfax officials have touted for more than a decade as a key to helping solve county transportation problems.
Another $45 million would pay for a dozen other major road projects around the county, including a two-mile stretch of new road between Rte. 1 and Telegraph Road in southeastern Fairfax.
County officials will present the bond proposals Monday to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, which has the final say on setting the size and use of the bond issue.
The board is expected to approve a final package before its summer recess begins Aug. 6. Voters will decide Nov. 5 whether the county can borrow the funds by floating municipal bonds.
Fairfax politicians, who have long looked to the bypass as a major step toward easing nightmarish traffic jams in the county, seem nearly certain to approve a road bond for referendum in some form, and to lobby heavily for its passage with county voters.
"I intend to go out on the hustings from September to November," said County Board Chairman John F. Herrity, a longtime supporter of the bypass. "I don't want to see it fall through the cracks now."
If, as county officials expect, the bond is approved at referendum, construction could begin by 1988, and the two segments of the road could be complete by 1990.
Funding for the bypass, which could ultimately cost more than $300 million, had been in doubt before the General Assembly in February allowed greater borrowing power for localities to fund road improvements.
The road would run roughly as a four-lane outer Beltway from Rte. 7 near Herndon and Reston in the north to Mount Vernon and Fort Belvoir in the south, feeding into Rte. 1 and I-95.
Because of the enormous cost and complexity of designing the bypass, county officials have long anticipated building it segment-by-segment.
The two segments county staff members are proposing for funding in this November's bond referendum "can function regardless of whether the rest of the bypass is ever built," county transportation director Shiva K. Pant said yesterday.
One five-mile segment would stretch from an interchange with the Dulles Toll Road in the north to Rte. 50 in the south, where it would connect with a 1 1/2-mile section of the road already constructed in large part by developer John T. (Til) Hazel.
Hazel is building the massive Fair Lakes commercial and residential project west of the Rte. 50 and I-66 interchange.
The 620-acre project, planned for extremely dense development, was given approval by the county board in return for Hazel's promise to build the 1 1/2-mile stretch of the bypass between Rte. 50 and I-66.
The other segment of the bypass county officials propose to pay for with the bond would run about 3 1/2 miles in the southeastern part of the county, from the intersection of Rolling Road in the west along Hooes Road, past I-95 to Beulah Street in the east. It also would run past the planned Springfield-Franconia Metro station west of I-95, which is scheduled to open in 1990.