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Federal Highway Administration Offers Alternative Route 1 Widening Option

Alternative widening option is a result of public comments.

The Federal Highway Administration has offered an alternative Route 1 bypass proposal that would preserve more acreage at Woodlawn Stables and build new barns, and mitigate impact to the historic cemetery at Woodlawn Baptist Church.

This decision comes after a and public comment period that ended early last month. The public comment period generated

The FHWA was for Route 1 widening improvements near Fort Belvoir.

"It's a big deal in the sense that the FHWA would not normally do that," Save Woodlawn Stables cofounder Shelley Castle said. "It's a good response to the public."

The alternative bypass will move the barn and the indoor riding arena to the same side of Route 1 as the pastures, eliminating the need for the horses and riders to cross the road, according to Fairfax County Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Coordinator Laura Miller.

"The revised bypass alternative avoids impact to the historic cemetery, and provides for continuous operation of the horse farm on property currently leased from the Trust," Miller said in an email to Patch.

However, this will still affect Woodlawn Stables' ability to operate. The amount of land Woodlawn Stables will operate on will be slightly larger than other options offer, but owner Cindy Mitchell will have to get rid of some of the herd. 

"The question is: will it be enough for her to continue to operate?" said Castle.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation owns the land on which Woodlawn Stables operates. The trust has not yet determined whether it will renew Woodlawn Stables' lease.

Congressman Moran is planning to meet with the trust at the end of the month to try to get the trust to come to an agreement. Save Woodlawn Stables has prepared a petition to ask the National Trust for Historic Preservation to consider renewing the lease. As of Thursday evening, the petition has garnered nearly 300 signatures.

“The widening of Rt. 1 is long overdue and this federal funding is our only shot to make it happen," Congressman Moran said. "It’s critical for long term economic growth and traffic mitigation along the corridor. I support the widening in place option and am still hopeful that will be FHWA’s decision. But if they determine otherwise, then the new bypass option FHWA is circulating, which provides the stables the option to continue their operations, seems like a worthwhile alternative."

The FHWA has processed all the public comments and will be announcing their decision in the next few weeks.

"I hope that the outcome of the choice made by the FHA will be one that will accommodate the needs of those who will be effected by the construction, including Woodlawn Baptist Church," Woodlawn Baptist Church pastor Travis Hilton told Patch.

For more information about the alternative, visit the Eastern Federal Lands Division projects page.

Laurie August 17, 2012 at 11:39 AM
Why can't they keep the roadbed the same size, and make a one way bridge through that area, ground level traveling North and bridge level traveling South, or vice versa?
Shelley August 17, 2012 at 02:58 PM
Anyone wanting current information on the new proposal, our new petiition, and the future of Woodlawn Stables. Please see our latest update on our website: http://www.savewoodlawnstables.org/call-to-action Thank you to all of you in the communtiy for your overwhelming support and ongoing help in this chance to save Woodlawn Stables. We hope the Trust will renew the lease so that the stables can continue it's legacy in the Mount Vernon area; we look forward to the possibilities of a renewed relationship benefiting Woodlawn Plantation, the stables and the community as a whole. Shelley Castle Save Woodlawn Stables
Rebecca Kenyon August 17, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Thank you to Shelley, Laura, Autumn and many others for all your hard work on the volunteer effort to save the Stables and ALL historic properties. We are hopeful the Trust makes a balanced decision.
Pat August 17, 2012 at 06:12 PM
Why not move Woodlawn Stables down to the unused County equestrian center in Lorton?
Anna Gibson August 18, 2012 at 12:46 PM
I wish the Trust would just say that they will renew the lease if adequate property and facilities can be preserved in the project. The fact that they've let that issue hang makes me nervous about the Trust's ability to make a balanced decision. Why not just say? Is there something else they have in mind? If so, say what that is.
Greg Crider August 18, 2012 at 01:16 PM
Sadly, based on past behavior of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, I don't trust the Trust.
Claudia Lindsey August 31, 2012 at 10:06 PM
If you want to make a statement you should get everyone to telephone congressman Moran's office along with the National Trust on the same day. This happens on Capitol Hill all the time and it does make a difference. I am not surprised that Moran was at this meeting and probably agreeing with the trust. SAD! Start making your list and call. Good luck to Woodlawn Stables.
Mark February 15, 2013 at 08:47 PM
This is a sad outcome. Not only is the bypass approved, but the stables loses its lease as well. It appears the Trust, Moran, and the Federal Govt all agreed on this from the get go. The trust is probably getting paid big $ for the land.

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