In their move to reject a plan for a $300 million bypass for busy Va. 28, Prince William County supervisors may have lost $89 million in regional funding.
The Board of County Supervisors voted Aug. 4 to abandon the years-long effort for a new four-lane road that would have extended Godwin Drive from Liberia Avenue to a point on Va. 28 near Fairfax County. Instead, the board backed a $400 million project that would add just two lanes to Va. 28.
County voters only committed $200 million for either widening Va. 28 or the bypass, so an $89 million award from the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority was key to starting work on the bypass, and would likely be essential in the search for the money to move ahead with the more expensive widening.
Phyllis Randall, chair of Loudoun County’s Board of Supervisors and chair of the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, said the money is dedicated to the bypass project and would not be guaranteed for the road widening.
Randall told InsideNoVa she plans to speak as authority chair to the Prince William supervisors at their meeting Sept. 8. Randall said the Prince William board can reconsider its rejection of the bypass project and still receive the $89 million. “I’d like them not to lose this money,” she said.
If the board continues with the widening project, the county will have to compete for funding against other transportation projects from across the region, Randall said.
“It’s very unlikely they'll get $89 million,” she said. “If they send the money back to the NVTA, I'll work to get money to Loudoun County.”
Ann Wheeler, chair of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, told InsideNoVa the county is prepared to reapply for NVTA funding.
“It’s still a very congested road,” she said. “We’re going to do everything in our power to show that the widening of Route 28 would qualify [for NVTA funding].”
The next stop for the county will be to amend the comprehensive plan to add the widening project, Wheeler said.
That process will include public input and could be completed by the end of the year.
“Taking care of congestion on Route 28 is one of the most important things this board will do over the next four years,” Wheeler said.