Fairfax Board OKs Authorization of Rt. 1 Widening Agreement
Bulova calls project "much needed."
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Tuesday unanimously authorized the signing of an agreement to widen Route 1.
The agreement with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), Fort Belvoir and other agencies keeps the road-widening project in line with the National Historic Preservation Act.
The agreement was drafted after the proposed Route 1 improvements were found to have an “adverse effect” on historical properties in the area, including the Fort Belvoir Military Railroad bed and bridge, and the Woodlawn Stables area.
“We move on with that project, which is very, very much needed, and not an easy project in an area with so much history and activity,” said board chairman Sharon Bulova.
County Executive Ed Long received authorization to sign the agreement two weeks after the Board approved the revised bypass option during its Sept. 13 meeting. The proposed project will widen Route 1 between Telegraph Road and Belvoir Road in Alexandria. It will also realign the road between Belvoir Road and Mount Vernon Memorial Highway.
County supervisors have been unanimous in their support of the project, whose approval coincided with the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s announcement that it will not renew the lease of Woodlawn Stables, a nearby equestrian facility, in 2016. Supporters of the facility have objected to the road widening, an act they fear will diminish the stables.
In July, the Pentagon released $180 million to the FHWA to begin the Route 1 widening project, which will accommodate increased traffic at Fort Belvoir due to the Base Realignment and Closure Act of 2005 (BRAC).
The funds are part of a $300 million appropriation secured by the Maryland and Virginia delegations for BRAC-related transportation improvements across the country.
BRAC and the recent opening of Fort Belvoir Community Hospital are expected to bring more than 11,000 new DoD employees and 574,000 annual hospital patients onto Route 1, according to a statement issued by Congressman Moran's office.