Supervisors Say Environmental Issues Plague I-495 NEXT Challenge


Members of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors share quite a few issues concerning the environmental affect of the I-495 Specific Lanes Northern Extension (495 NEXT) undertaking.

Based mostly on an environmental evaluation launched in February, the board’s feedback spotlight every part from site visitors and transit to stormwater administration, together with suggestions to attenuate the affect on timber, waterways, streams, historic properties and noise.

“The Board requests that VDOT proceed to permit time for the general public to offer suggestions on the undertaking previous to executing a last contract,” Chairman Jeffery McKay stated in a letter to Virginia Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine that the board is scheduled to approve when it meets immediately (Tuesday).

The undertaking is meant so as to add extra capability to I-495 to take among the cut-through site visitors off close by McLean streets, however with out increasing the American Legion Bridge and I-495 on the Maryland facet, some are involved the specific lanes will solely push the bottleneck additional north.

A site visitors evaluation discovered that typically, journey time alongside the Capital Beltway hall will enhance in each 2025 and 2045 as soon as Maryland completes their managed lane system.

Till Maryland completes its enhancements, the evaluation predicted delays alongside basic function lanes going north on I-495. In response, the board urged the Virginia Division of Transportation to shorten the time between the opening of the 2 tasks.

“It’s crucial that VDOT handle the short-term impacts of opening previous to Maryland’s managed lanes,” they stated.

As a part of the 495 NEXT undertaking, VDOT has dedicated to constructing a serious regional path in accordance with Fairfax County’s Complete Plan. The Board of Supervisors is requesting that the path proceed by means of Tysons as an alternative of ending at Lewinsville Highway.

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In addition they urged VDOT to seek out cash to advertise transit entry alongside the hall, which can assist cut back single-occupancy automobile ridership and encourage sustainable transportation system.

Stormwater administration ranks amongst Fairfax County’s prime environmental issues for 495 NEXT. Noting that flooding has significantly been a problem in the McLean space, the board desires VDOT to fulfill county necessities, fairly than being grandfathered into lenient state requirements.

“If assembly our native stormwater administration necessities will not be attainable, VDOT ought to implement necessities to the utmost extent practicable and supply documentation demonstrating that the technical necessities should not absolutely possible,” McKay stated within the letter.

The undertaking will pipe runoff into Scotts Run Stream and the Potomac River, affecting 19.eight acres of wetlands and 76 acres of water our bodies and bordering land that drain into the Chesapeake Bay. The supervisors say it won’t meet water high quality necessities.

“Whereas the Board acknowledges the constraints confronted by linear tasks like I-495 NEXT, we additionally consider that transportation tasks, significantly of this magnitude, ought to attempt to attenuate adverse results on water high quality, native streams, and finally the Chesapeake Bay,” McKay stated within the letter.

“The cumulative affect from the undertaking’s failure to deal with every of the bullets above will worsen the already degraded situation of the Scotts Run Stream Valley,” he continued.

The board additionally provided suggestions for minimizing or avoiding affect to the pure environment and the residential neighborhoods close by, together with:

rapidly changing sound partitions after they’re eliminated
minimizing evening development close to neighborhoods
growing a landscaping and tree alternative plan
minimizing disruptions, together with these to bus providers
sustaining visibility at evening and through dangerous climate with short-term striping

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They request that VDOT keep away from or decrease its affect on:

the George Washington Memorial Parkway
the Georgetown Pike
Beaufort Park
the Shiloh Baptist Church
Scotts Run Nature Protect
the four.6-acre personal property close to Langley Membership

Photograph by way of Google Maps


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