Stopping the Outer Beltway

Stopping the Outer Beltway

outer beltway map

VDOT is pushing to create a new highway in Northern Virginia referred to as the Outer Beltway or Bi-County Parkway. As we see it, this controversial new highway would cut through a National Park, open up over 100,000 acres to new development, and has the potential to actually increase traffic congestion on other roads.

Making matters worse, recent VDOT presentations confirm the road will be designed to carry freight and other cargo at speeds in excess of 65mph -- splitting neighborhoods from their schools, and greatly increasing sound and air pollution.
See VDOT's aerial maps >>

In short, this will be the most important land use decision that will be made in Virginia in the next 5 years.

  • Water & Air Impacts Highlighted in Joint Letter

    In a letter dated November 20, 2013, more than a dozen prominent conservation organizations sent a letter to Governor-Elect McAuliffe in regards to the Bi-County Parkway.

    The letter highlights the water, air and climate impacts of the proposed roadway. It also lists a number of available alternatives.

  • Our Alternative -- Rethinking the Bi-County Parkway

    Our proposal, detailed in the report Rethinking the Bi-County Parkway, focuses on fixing east-west routes for commuters, it provides lower impact local road fixes and connections to help local residents, it preserves the Rural Crescent and Transition Area, and could allow for the roads to be closed through the Battlefield (although it’s not clear that would ultimately be necessary, due to the reduced traffic that would result from implementing the alternatives we’ve suggested).

    More about Rethinking the Bi-County Parkway, a report from the Piedmont Environmental Council, Coalition for Smarter Growth, Southern Environmental Law Center, National Trust for Historic Preservation and National Parks Conservation Association.

  • Opposition to the Project Grows

    When it comes to the Outer Beltway proposal, a lot has happened in 2013. Our friends at The Coalition for Smarter Growth put together this quick list to help get folks up to speed:

  • Maps

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    VDOT has posted detailed aeial maps sowing where the 600-ft-wide study area is located along the 10.4 mile Bi-County Parkway Cooridor. According to VDOT, if the Bi-County Parkway is designated, the final right-of-way would be 150 to 200 feet wide.

    See VDOT's Detailed Maps

    Our own GIS Department has also created some great maps to highlight where the proposed highway will be located. Information taken from the Virginia Department of Transportation was used to create them.

    See Maps...

  • PEC PowerPoint Presentation about the Outer Beltway

    During the winter and early spring of 2013, PEC and our partner groups recently hosted community meetings in Aldie, Middleburg and Ashburn on the proposed Outer Beltway.

    Read More About the Meetings...

More on VDOT's proposed Outer Beltway

  • Jan 15, 2014

    Update on The Bi-County Parkway/Outer Beltway

    During his campaign, Governor McAuliffe said he would take a hard-look at the controversial $440 million Bi-County Parkway, reevaluating this project and others proposed by VDOT. In his campaign platform, under the section titled "Pick the right projects; build the best ones," he stated: "We need to strategically prioritize what we’re building and where. We should look at our current and proposed transportation expenditures from top to bottom and support those which should move forward and pull the plug when they don’t make sense." Read More
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    Sep 30, 2013

    The Outer Beltway -- Water, Air & Climate Impacts

    Email from November 21, 2013: ....yesterday, we joined with more than a dozen prominent conservation organizations -- including the National Wildlife Federation, the Virginia League of Conservation Voters, and the Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club -- in submitting a joint letter to Governor-Elect Terry McAuliffe. The letter points to the Bi-County Parkway as the project in Northern Virginia that would have the largest negative impact on the environment.... Read More
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    Sep 30, 2013

    This Week

    VDOT has scheduled two public meetings on the Outer Beltway/Bi-County Parkway. There won't be a public speaking period, but they will be collecting questions and comments. If you cannot attend, I encourage you to submit your comments by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.! This email alert was sent out on September 30th, 2013: Read More
  • Jul 18, 2013

    Our Alternative -- Rethinking the Bi-County Parkway

    Our proposal, detailed in the report Rethinking the Bi-County Parkway, focuses on fixing east-west routes for commuters, it provides lower impact local road fixes and connections to help local residents, it preserves the Rural Crescent and Transition Area, and could allow for the roads to be closed through the Battlefield (although it’s not clear that would ultimately be necessary, due to the reduced traffic that would result from implementing the alternatives we’ve suggested). Read More
  • Dec 01, 2013

    A Broad List of Opposition to the Outer Beltway

    A list of groups who have opposed the Outer Beltway, and a list of elected officials who have publicly opposed or expressed concern. *this list is a work in progress. If you would like to add your organization or your name to the elected officials list, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.* Read More
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    May 17, 2013

    Email Alert: Opposition to the Outer Beltway Picking Up

    Over the past two years we’ve been writing (and sometimes jumping up and down) about the McDonnell Administration’s prioritization of the multi-billion dollar DC Outer Beltway project. It’s been difficult, however, to get press coverage or widespread citizen engagement, because the project has seemed remote. But that changed this past December, when VDOT finally put a line on the map. Since then, citizen opposition to the project has mounted. At the end of April, six legislators from Northern Virginia announced their opposition to the project. This Tuesday, Congressman Wolf sent a letter to Governor McDonnell expressing “serious reservations.” This text is from an email alert sent out on May 16th. Read More
  • May 06, 2013

    The Problem with the Outer Beltway

    The Outer Beltway, and its component parts the Bi-County Parkway and 6-laned Northstar Blvd, is a bad deal for the residents of Prince William and Loudoun County. It’s also a bad deal for people who live in counties and cities to the east and west, as well as Virginia taxpayers as a whole. Read More
  • May 01, 2013

    Insiders Renew Push for Another Beltway Around DC

    In 2011, PEC alerted its members to a renewed effort to get an Outer Beltway project built. A highlight from the email text: "In a meeting of the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) last week, the Governor's Secretary of Transportation and two CTB members announced a renewed effort to prioritize a highway connecting I-95 in Prince William to Rt. 50 in Loudoun." Read More
  • Feb 20, 2013

    Impacts and links to VDOT presentations

    Transportation infrastructure is critical to our region and our economy, and yet funding for existing and new roads is limited. PEC and our partners have consistently called for a "Fix it first" approach to ensure that repair and enhancements to existing roads and transit are prioritized. Recently President Obama also sounded the call for the same focus. Read More
  • Feb 20, 2013

    What You Can Do

    Yes, this project is being pushed by powerful forces, but there is still time to put up a fight. Many of the residents in the proposed route are unaware of VDOT's plans (or have just learned about it) and have not had a chance to share their thoughts with legislators. Wasteful road projects have been defeated before, but only through citizens speaking up. We will be continuing to provide you with up-to-date information through emails, community meetings, and postings to www.pecva.org/outerbeltway. We hope you help spread the word by: Contacting Your Congressman, Senator Tim Kaine, Senator Mark Warner, and your State Elected Officials to express your concern. We've created a letter-writing campaign that you can use. Your local Board of Supervisors Taking Action Speak out at public input opportunities Oppose this $1 billion project Ask for focus on your current commuter problems Ask for local congestion solutions Oppose more State funding for VDOT without reform and better priorities Participate in local planning - your voice can have an impact on decisions, particularly at the local level Talk to your neighbors and friends to spread the word. Sign up for 'Land Use & Transportation' email alerts so we can keep you informed as new information becomes available Read More
  • Feb 19, 2013

    Community Meetings

    Over 160 people attended our community meeting in Aldie on February 11th at John Champe High School, 120 people on March 4th in Middleburg, and 40 people on March 18th in Ashburn. The meetings were co-hosted by PEC, the Aldie Heritage Association, Prince William Conservation Alliance, Goose Creek Association, Mosby Heritage Area Association, and the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy. Although the majority of the attendees lived in areas near the proposed highway, many of them were unaware of the proposal. Below is the presentation that was given by Chris Miller, President of the Piedmont Environmental Council. Read More
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    Dec 13, 2012

    Loudoun Residents Asked to Weigh In Over the Holidays

    The following text is from a December 2012 Email alert: Hello! We trust your December is off to a good start and you're making progress on your holiday preparations. We're sure that thinking about major transportation issues is not part of those preparations, but it's year-end, and with year-end often comes last-minute meetings about bad ideas. We hope you can find a place on your to-do list to let VDOT know how you feel about their outer beltway plan. Read More
  • Feb 05, 2013

    Outer Beltway: How will it impact you?

    As we mentioned earlier this month, there is a lot going on with the planned "Outer Beltway" -- a major new highway going through Loudoun and Prince William. Which is why I would like to invite you to a community meeting on Monday, February 11th in Aldie. VDOT held public meetings the week before Christmas, but I know a lot of folks couldn't make it, and are wondering what is really being proposed and how citizens can get more involved. Read more from our February 2013 email alert: Read More
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    Jan 10, 2013

    New Year, Familiar Problem

    We continue to believe this is the most important land use decision that will be made in northern Virginia in the next 5 years. The Outer Beltway would open up ~100,000 acres of relatively open land in eastern Loudoun and the Prince William "rural crescent" to development, cut through a National Park, make investments in metro and transit-oriented development more difficult to fund, and at the end of the day, is very likely to make traffic on east-to-west roads like Rt. 50 and Rt. 66 even worse. This text is from a January 6th Email alert. Read More

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