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Prince William County is kicking off design of the Route 28 Bypass project.

At its meeting Tuesday, the Board of County Supervisors voted 5-3 to award a $14.9 million design contract for the bypass to WSP USA Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of a Canadian-based consultant company.

Democratic supervisors voted in favor of the contract, while Republicans, who have opposed the revised version of the project, were in opposition.

After several months of contentious discussion and debate, in August 2020, the board unanimously approved a partly funded $400 million version of the project that would have widened the existing road rather than building the bypass.

However, after learning that the widening project might not receive regional transportation funds, the board reversed course and voted 5-3 to approve a $300 million version of the project.  The bypass will be a four-lane road extending northeast from Godwin Drive and Sudley Road near Manassas to a point on Route 28 near Fairfax County. Democrats voted in favor of the new proposal, while Republicans were in opposition.

In October 2020, the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority approved an agreement to dedicate $89 million in authority funding for the project.

The bypass is estimated to impact 72 homes, according to county staff. At least half of those houses would need to be purchased completely, while the other homeowners would see partial impacts. 

The bypass route would likely involve the removal of up to eight mobile homes from the Bull Run Mobile Home Community. 

Initial design is expected to last until 2023.

Triangle Small Area Plan

In other business Tuesday, the board unanimously approved the Triangle Small Area Plan.

The plan covers about 376 acres in an area bounded by Interstate 95, Dumfries, Marine Corps Base Quantico and Fuller Heights Park.

The document does not guarantee any type of development for the area, nor does it change existing zoning. It serves only as a blueprint for the county’s vision in the area.

The county’s original plan for the area called for offices along U.S. 1 near the Dumfries town limits transitioning into medium-density residential and mixed-use. Farther from U.S. 1, the existing designation is low-density residential, followed by open space on the outskirts.

The new plan designates the area along U.S. 1 near Dumfries for mixed-use development, transitioning toward some high-density housing. Low-density residential remains the designation away from U.S. 1, while some medium-density and mixed-use areas are pinpointed on the southern end near the Marine Corps base. The plan keeps open space areas along the edges.

The county’s blueprint builds off the town of Dumfries’ plans for Main Street and will encourage development that can benefit from the nearby Marine Corps base. The plan focuses on “developing supplemental residential, retail, and office space” connected to the base, a county staff report says.

“Right now a lot of people just see this as the place you get off Route 1 when Interstate 95 is too congested,” said Occoquan Supervisor Kenny Boddye. “We know it can be more than that.”

Nolan Stout covers Prince William County. Reach him at or @TheNolanStout on Facebook and Twitter.

(5) comments

Lynne June

This will not help. It takes someone with years of commuting on this road to understand that you’re simply spreading out the traffic, all to funnel eventually onto an already crowded 28 and backed-up 66. Yes, the widening of 28 in Fairfax County allows more cars on the road but with all of the development in PWC and beyond, it’s a losing proposition. Can we please just invest in smart growth with public transportation options? Mr. Muchnick made an excellent argument about this on Route 1. Why can’t it be done here?

Allen Muchnick

True, the May 2019 Traffic Technical Report [ ] issued for the since-abandoned Route 28 Bypass Environmental Assessment clearly demonstrated that building this bypass would significantly increase commuter traffic and worsen traffic congestion and commuter delays both along Centreville Road in Fairfax County and Godwin Drive in the City of Manassas.

There are several more effective alternatives to building this bypass, including the Centreville Road (Route 28) STARS safety and operational improvement package championed by Delegate Roem [ ] and Active Prince William's Well Street Extended proposal [ ].

If this Bypass is such a wonderful highway project, why did the Board of County Supervisors on September 21, 2021 approve a $100 million funding application to the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority to widen Old Centreville Road, as an alternative to building the Bypass if construction of the Bypass is denied the necessary approvals? See the last highway project listed at [ ].

Paul Benedict

This project has so many things that Democrats like, as compared to the widening of Centreville Road. First, it will destroy more wetlands and other important wildlife habitat. It will displace more low-income residents, mostly people of color (Democrats claim that skin color is much more important than character). It will create more opportunity for pedestrians to be killed crossing multi-lane highways just like Highway 1 in Woodbridge. And, rather than improving Centreville Road, it will continue to deteriorate and continue to become more of an eyesore than it already is. Thanks Democrats! Widening and improving Centreville (adding pedestrian crossings and improving traffic flow with intelligient signals) would have made much more sense.

Allen Muchnick

Blaming the Democratic Party for this project is mistaken. This project is clearly the legacy of former Coles District Supervisor Marty Nohe (R) and the former Corey Stewart (R)-led BOCS, who placed a $200 million County bond referendum to widen Route 28 through the Yorkshire area on the 2019 general election ballot.

Duke Nukem

Interesting. Did the (not) Democratic party achieve a lot of wins in that election? If they had the majority of voters or turnout they could have shot down the referendum. I guess at the end of the day the voters decided. How unfortunate, something needs to be done about that, don't you think?

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