Stopping the Outer Beltway

outer beltway map

Speculative real estate developers are 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, VDOT presentations confirm the road would 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 >>

Part of the push for an Outer Beltway is the push for a new Potomac River Bridge Crossing. Find out more >>

Update on The Bi-County Parkway/Outer Beltway

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."

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….

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).

Summer Update on the Outer Beltway

Summer Update on the Outer Beltway

VDOT is pushing to create a new major highway in Northern Virginia referred to (among other names) as the Outer Beltway. PEC’s take? This mega-highway would cut through a National Park, open up over 100,000 acres to residential development, and has the potential to actually increase traffic congestion on I-66 and Rt. 50. The good news is—after years of trying to get more press coverage and citizen engagement on the issue—we may have reached a turning point.

Opposition to the Outer Beltway Picking Up

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.

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.