Mike Huber is the CEO of Belfort Furniture, located off of Route 28, in Dulles. When the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) announced the closure of Cedar Green Road, which allows customers to easily access Route 28 and the Belfort Park shopping plaza, he was concerned about the impact it might have on his business and the smaller shops around the furniture store.
"We're a destination retail shop, so it wouldn't have a huge effect on our business, but I am concerned about the mom-and-pop shops around the area," he said.
Huber said he worries about local restaurants and video stores. If Cedar Green Road closes, these places are going to be harder to get to, he said.
"They'll loose business."
VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT of Transportation district manager Dennis Morrison said Cedar Green Road was scheduled to close this fall.
"This has been in the making a long time," he said.
When Route 28 was built, Cedar Green Road was intended to become a limited access roadway. A limited access road is one that can only be accessed through interchanges. So, the plan was to remove street lights and intersections along the highway, in order to discourage everyday traffic flow.
"Route 28 is a heavily used corridor," Morrison said. "It carries so much traffic. We needed to handle it someway."
When Huber heard about the road closure, he not only worried about its affect on local business. He worried about their safety.
"My main concern is that emergency services won't be able to reach the few homes back here," he said. "The road closure would have a significant impact on rescue times."
Douglas G. Rambo, Fire and Rescue Commission chairman, agreed with Huber. The road closure would eliminate primary access to Belfort Park.
As of now, Cedar Green Road may be accessed by Shaw Road, off of Sterling Boulevard and from Davis Drive.
The decision to close the road could have life or death consequences, he said.
WITH THAT IN MIND, Sen. Mark Herring (D-33) and Del. David Poisson (D-32) announced Friday, Oct. 27, that the entrance to Cedar Green Road on northbound Route 28 will remain open until the safety risks associated with its closing have been thoroughly examined by VDOT.
The delegate said he is concerned for his constituents’ safety.
If Cedar Lane Road is closed, hundreds of business workers and their customers’ lives are in danger, in the event of an emergency, he said.
"The other ways into this area if there were a fire or medical emergency are completely inadequate."
VDOT hired an independent study group to conduct three studies on Cedar Green Road, accessing traffic safety over the next few months.
The first study will examine Cedar Green Road's right-out access point, which will be conducted at the end of the month. The second will study the right-in access point from Route 28 to Cedar Green Road.
The third study is already in process. VDOT hired an independent study group to come up with affordable accessibility options.
"These studies will be complete by June 2007," Morrison said. "If at any time we find safety is compromised, we have no option but to close that entrance."