County Council unanimously opposed a “Techway,” a proposal for a bridge linking Maryland and Northern Virginia that would likely run through Potomac.
While the previous County Council also unanimously opposed a new bridge in Montgomery County, the current council had not expressed an official opinion. A recent Virginia study of traffic on the American Legion Bridge reopened the debate about a second crossing.
“This Council had never taken a public opposition,” said Councilmember Nancy Floreen (D-At Large), chair of the Council’s Environment and Transportation Committee. “I wanted … Council to be very clear to the world outside that it does not approve of [an additional] crossing.”
Both Floreen and Councilmember Howard Denis (R-1) cited the impact such a project would have on Montgomery County’s 90,000-acre Agricultural Reserve, and its incompatibility with the Potomac Master Plan that was approved in 2002.
“The county reaffirmed its staunch opposition to another crossing,” said Denis. “Such a crossing would have a devastating effect on 50 years of land-use planning. … My own instinct is that it’s a dead mackerel.”
“All the proposed routes for the Techway would go somewhere through the Agricultural Reserve,” said Floreen. “It was a no-brainer for Montgomery County and this Council. ” The resolution opposed a new bridge in Montgomery County no matter where it is located.
Denis acknowledged some support for another bridge among constituents. “Some might endorse the concept,” Denis said. “Where it breaks down is on the critical issue of where it should be.”
Both Denis and Floreen emphasized that they remain supportive of the InterCounty Connector, connecting I-270 with I-95.