Opponents of the Bi-County Parkway  set up to greet people entering the Hylton Performing Arts Center for the June meeting in Manassas. (Robert Thomson/The Washington Post)

The Virginia Department of Transportation has invited the public to several meetings this week on major highway projects: the construction of the reversible HOV ramp to ease traffic near the Mark Center and the proposed Bi-County Parkway.

HOV ramp
The construction of the HOV ramp at I-395 and Seminary Road is the more immediate of the two projects. This one is the major long-term effort to ease traffic going to and from the Mark Center following the realignment of federal workers. The project could get underway late this year or early next, and be done by spring 2016.

The VDOT staff at Tuesday night’s meeting will offer information on the ramp’s design and the construction schedule. The session will begin with a general presentation on the project followed by questions and answers, VDOT said. Display boards showing preliminary designs will be set up around the meeting room at the Francis Hammond Middle School, 4646 Seminary Rd., Alexandria. The meeting is from 7 to 9 p.m.

If you can’t get there, you can e-mail comments to meeting_comments@vdot.virginia.gov. Include “Seminary Road HOV” in the subject line.

Bi-County Parkway
VDOT has scheduled two sessions on the proposed north-south highway between Interstate 66 and Route 50. One meeting will be in Loudoun County on Tuesday night, and the other in Prince William on Thursday night.

Project officials will review the the various commitments contained in a draft Programmatic Agreement. This is the very important next step in the planning process and involves the use of the land on the west side of the Manassas National Battlefield and the future of nearby Routes 29 and 234. They also will discuss planned revisions in the 2005 environmental impact statement for the parkway.

The format will be very different from that of the huge meeting in June at the Hylton Performing Arts Center. These two sessions are in less awesome venues. The Loudoun meeting Tuesday is at John Champe High School, 41535 Sacred Mountain St., Aldie. The one in Prince William on Thursday is at Stonewall Jackson High School, 8820 Rixlew La., Manassas. Both are from 6 to 9 p.m.

Rather than resembling the Hylton’s opera-like setting, these meetings will be structured more like the session on the HOV ramp, which has been much less controversial than the parkway. Attendees will see a set of display boards highlighting various aspects of the parkway project. VDOT staffers will be available for questions. And as with the HOV ramp meeting, the public can make comments there or e-mail them to meeting_comments@vdot.virginia.gov with “Bi-County Parkway” in the subject line.