Tri-County Route Needed,

With or Without U.S. Funds

The story and headline "Tri-County Parkway Proposal Doomed" [Prince William Extra, Sept. 15] missed the mark for accuracy by a long shot.

The Federal Highway Administration has not said the roadway couldn't be built, only that portions of it might not be eligible for federal funding. Guess what? Most of the Prince William Parkway was built without federal funds. The same is true of the Fairfax County Parkway. The Dulles Greenway was built without any federal money.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has not conclusively ruled out issuing permits, and says it does not have enough information at this point to render a definitive opinion. Virginia Department of Transportation personnel continue to believe necessary permits are attainable.

The need and rationale for the tri-county parkway route that has been on Prince William's Comprehensive Plan since the early 1960s have never been greater and/or more obvious. Four years of study by VDOT confirms that the Comprehensive Plan corridor continues to be the best transportation solution.

It will be a sad day when Northern Virginia's future prosperity, mobility and quality of life are 100 percent dependent on the availability of federal dollars.

Hats off to Board of County Supervisors Chairman Sean T. Connaughton and other Prince William officials who are rightfully indignant that federal bureaucrats fail to see there are no practical alternatives to the traffic relief to Route 28 and Route 234 Business that the Comprehensive Plan tri-county route was designed to address decades ago.

With the nation's third-worst congestion and another million people on the way, the original tri-county parkway is a solution well worth area officials fighting for.

Roy Beckner