Money for Area Transportation Projects

Money for Area Transportation Projects

Two Fairfax County transportation projects, calling for the expenditure of $7.4 million, received support and funds last week through the bipartisan efforts of Northern Virginia's U.S. Representatives James P. Moran (D-8) and Thomas M. Davis, III (R-11). Both projects were included in spending bills approved by Congress.

Through their joint efforts, $5 million was secured for the design and construction of a replacement for Woodlawn Road through Fort Belvoir and $2.4 million was earmarked for the Richmond Highway Express bus service known as "REX." Each has been a priority issue for southeastern Fairfax County.

"Congressman Davis and I have been working together since 9/11 on a replacement extension for Woodlawn Road. Funding for these two projects will benefit commuters and serve as a boost for economic development in southeast Fairfax County," said Moran.

"Improving access through Fort Belvoir and developing better mass transit options along Route 1 are two very important projects that will help continue the revitalization of southeastern Fairfax County," Davis said.

FUNDS FOR REX will expand the express bus service, initiated within the past year along the Route 1 corridor to both the Huntington and King Street Metro stations. This project has received a total of $12 million in federal funding thus far, according to the two congressional offices.

As a result of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the former Woodlawn Road access connecting Telegraph Road/Beulah Street with Route 1, across from Fort Belvoir's main gate, was closed to all but authorized personnel. This has caused commuters coming from the west to take Telegraph Road to the Fairfax County Parkway to its intersection with Route 1, adding both miles and time to their commute.

The $5 million appropriation authorized will be utilized to design and build a new access between Beulah Street and Route 1. Present plans call for that new access to be along the present Old Mill Road which intersects with Route 1 at Route 235, Mount Vernon Memorial Highway.

DURING RECENT public information meetings, VDOT officials explained that plans call for Old Mill Road to be widened to four lanes, its intersection will be brought in line with Route 235, and the entrance to Woodlawn Estate will be moved farther south toward the present Woodlawn Road entrance to Fort Belvoir. This project has received a total of $14.97 million thus far, according Moran and Davis.

Other funds secured in last week's budget actions by the U.S. House of Representatives to aid both transportation and housing projects in Alexandria and southeastern Fairfax County include:

* $1 million to expand Alexandria's DASH bus system, replace aging bus shelters and develop a real-time bus information system.

* $500,000 to study and construct improvements for bicycle and pedestrian access connecting Mount Vernon Trail through the Pentagon grounds and facilitate access to the Woodrow Wilson Bridge from Route 1 and Telegraph Road.

* $1.5 million to enable Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority to purchase "clean fleet" buses to serve the National Capital Region including Northern Virginia.

* $200,000 for Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority as part of its costs in renovating the Montgomery Street Family Resource Learning Center.

* $250,000 for renovation and expansion of the Boys and Girls Club of Alexandria.

* $1 million to construct a new park-and-ride facility in Springfield.