After aggressive lobbying, Fairfax County received an additional $8 million in regional transportation funds for congestion relief along Route 1 and two other corridors.
The money for a project to widen a three-mile stretch of Route 1 near Fort Belvoir and for improvements to Rolling Road and Frontier Drive comes from about $351 million in regional funds available through the 2013 state transportation law that seeks to alleviate congestion throughout Virginia.
The three projects had been left off a list of projects recommended for funding by the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority. But after pressure from Fairfax County that included a packed public hearing this month on the Route 1 road-widening project, the regional authority voted last week to use money it had not previously earmarked.
None of the other projects scheduled for funding were affected by the decision, said Monica Backmon, executive director of the regional transportation authority.
Backmon added that there was extensive public pressure to allocate $1 million in regional funds for Route 1. The road-widening project already has $180 million in federal funds.
“We had extensive public comment about that particular project, so we were happy that could help advance it,” Backmon said.
The authority is already using $56 million in regional funds to widen portions of Route 1 in Prince William County.
With the authority’s unanimous vote, an additional $5 million will go toward widening a portion of Rolling Road near the Franconia-Springfield Parkway, and $2 million will go to improvements planned for Frontier Drive, Backmon said.
Fairfax officials were most pleased about the funding for Route 1, which was affected heavily by the expansion of Fort Belvoir under the federal Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) consolidation of military installations.
“The funding of this project is a validation of strong community grass-roots action and the hard work of our federal, state and local officials to make U.S. 1 redevelopment a priority for Northern Virginia,” said state Del. Scott A. Surovell (D-Fairfax,) who played a lead role in securing the funds.
Sharon Bulova (D), chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, said the road-widening project will make it easier to attract new businesses to the Route 1 corridor.
“This is exactly the type of project that the General Assembly had in mind when it approved historic transportation funding in 2013,” she said.