The proposed major North-South highway through Prince William and Loudoun counties landed another significant opponent Tuesday night when Rep. Frank Wolf sent a detailed letter to Gov. Bob McDonnell, saying the approval process should be delayed until other alternatives can be explored and residents can be heard. Wolf spoke to The Post’s Jeremy Borden Tuesday night and the full story is here.
As a federal legislator, Wolf doesn’t have a direct vote on the 45-mile road, which would begin with the existing Prince William Parkway at I-95 in Dumfries, then head north all the way to Route 7 in Ashburn. But the part of the road that would skirt the Manassas battlefield and head north through Loudoun County is solidly in Wolf’s 10th District, and he is hearing from constituents who say they haven’t been given notice, that it would open up Prince William’s rural crescent and close off Pageland Lane. Wolf has been a longtime protector of the battlefield, and he appended documents dating back to 1988 as proof. He argues to the governor that there’s been a “lack of transparency” in this process, which suddenly gained a lot of steam last year. His full letter is below. Earlier this month, a group of six Republican state legislators and Prince William Supervisor Peter Candland, declared their opposition to the road — sometimes called the Tri-County Parkway, but which only goes through two counties and should be called the Bi-County Parkway — and the Loudoun and Prince William chambers of commerce promptly fired back that they didn’t know what they were talking about.
But perhaps the most fascinating part of Wolf’s letter is his last bullet point, in which he claims that such a road will not increase cargo traffic at Dulles Airport. Besides improving mobility between Loudoun and Prince William, state officials have emphasized that a main reason for the road is to fire up the economic engine that is Dulles by smoothing the path for cargo shipped into Norfolk and then trucked up here. Wolf said he has been told by “officials at the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority” that the road would not lead to an increase in Dulles cargo traffic. That is a significant declaration, and we are waiting to hear more from MWAA on that.
The Virginia Commonwealth Transportation Board is scheduled to discuss the project Wednesday in Richmond. A new consultant’s report on the project, which reports that “two rounds of public meetings were attended by over 200 attendees,” is here. My detailed look at the project after those public meetings is here.
Here’s Wolf’s letter: