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Board Reacts to Delay

At its Nov. 21 business meeting, the Board of Supervisors had strong words for Dennis Morrison, VDOT's Northern Virginia District administrator, and Susan Shaw, VDOT's Route 28 project manager, about the delayed opening of the Route 28/Sterling Boulevard interchange.

Many of the Supervisors claimed they were not even informed about VDOT's decision to delay the opening and were unhappy with the way they were treated.

"Why am I not even given the courtesy of an e-mail?" Supervisor Mick Staton (R-Sugarland Run) said. "Why was this action taken before anyone on this board, let alone the chairman of the transportation/land use committee, was [notified?]"

Morrision told Supervisors that VDOT was working with county staff members, including fire and rescue and the Sheriff's office.

"In large part [the delay] was in response to concerns by county staff," Shaw said.

The interchange, which was completed six months ahead of schedule, was delayed because of safety concerns and because Cedar Green Road was scheduled to be closed when the interchange was opened.

Chairman Scott K. York (I-At large) said VDOT could open the interchange, which would have opened the day of the meeting, even while they were having the discussion about Cedar Green Road and that the safety concerns over the merge area were unfounded.

"There is more room to merge here than there is at 606 [Old Ox Road] and Route 28," he said. "You all can, if you wanted to, get this interchange open while looking at Cedar Green."

Supervisor Bruce E. Tulloch (R-Potomac) called the situation between VDOT and the county a "failure to communicate."

"We should work together as a county and a state to get it done," he said. I don't want to read about it in the paper. What I didn't appreciate was not being a part of the discussion."

Tulloch also stated that the process for opening the interchange is flawed and other aspects of the county are paying the consequences.

"All the long standing businesses in that corner are suffering because of this plan and it came after them," he said. "I think that for the greater good, phase one of the interchange opens with Cedar Green staying open."

<1b>— Erika Jacobson