After securing $300 million and spending years developing a bypass for busy Va. Route 28, the Prince William Board of County Supervisors rejected the proposal Tuesday night, leaving any fix for Manassas-area commuters in limbo.

The Prince William Board of County Supervisors voted 8-0 at its meeting to deny staff’s recommendation to move to the design phase of the project. 

In a subsequent vote, the board voted 8-0 to endorse widening Route 28. County staff estimate that widening the road from four to six lanes would require an additional $100 million.

Supervisor Yesli Vega, who represents the Coles District that is home to the road, announced Monday she doesn’t support the proposed bypass due to its impacts on residents and the environment, among other reasons. 

“This option will not alleviate traffic congestion on 28 from where it is today,” Vega said in an email to InsideNoVa. “Due to the negligible traffic impact, combined with the environmental, fiscal and human impact my constituents will face by being forcefully removed from their homes, I cannot support this proposal.” 

County staff had backed the bypass, saying it would reduce congestion in the busy commuter corridor between Manassas and Centreville, improve access to transit and provide pedestrian and bicycle facilities. 

Bypass vs. Widening Impacts

The proposed bypass would have added four lanes of travel between Manassas and Centreville at a cost of $300 million. The widening preferred by supervisors will cost $400 million for two additional lanes, according to county staff.

Property Impacts Bypass Route Widening
Total Impacted 72 185
Residential Displaced 54 7
Commercial Displaced 15 79
Total Cost $300 million $400 million

The project has been in development for years and a key project for transportation officials in the Manassas area, including former Coles District Supervisor Marty Nohe. Voters countywide approved a bond referendum in November that included $200 million for the Route 28 project to either widen the road or build a bypass.

The board was asked Tuesday to endorse the bypass route and authorize county staff to complete a project agreement with the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority to use $89 million in NVTA funding. 

But some of the residents who might have to move or see some of their property taken for the road had spoken out against the project.

The bypass would have affected 72 homes, according to county staff. Half or more of those houses would need to be purchased completely, while the other homeowners would see partial impacts. Canizales said the bypass route would have meant removing up to 8 mobile homes from the Bull Run Mobile Home Community. 

Chris Griffin was among the several residents of the the community who spoke against the bypass extension proposal.

“These are houses that we’ve turned into homes,” Griffin told InsideNoVa after the meeting. 

Griffin said he thinks some supervisors were swayed after talking to community members who could lose their residences. “I'm glad it turned unanimous,” Griffin said. “That’s a big deal for the underdogs and a very low income neighborhood.” 

Carol Blaser said she’s relieved to hear the board endorse the widening project. Blaser owns a house with her two brothers that could have been impacted by the bypass. Blaser showed some supervisors around the neighborhood that would have been impacted by the extension.

“You just don’t realize the amount of stress we’ve been going through for two years,” Blaser told InsideNoVa on the phone after the meeting. “I just couldn’t be happier. They should’ve widened it all along, because Fairfax county is widening it.”

Widening Route 28 would affect 185 parcels and displace 79 businesses, Transportation Director Rick Canizales said.

County staff estimate Va. Route 28 will see an increase from the 50,500 daily traffic count in 2018. Without any project build, Route 28 from Liberia Avenue to Orchard Bridge Dr. will see an estimated 75,000 daily traffic count. Staff estimated traffic count on that stretch of Route 28 with the proposed extension project would see about 62,500 daily traffic count in 2040, while widening the road is estimated to increase daily traffic count to 85,000, according to the county.

Emily Sides covers Prince William County for InsideNoVa. Reach her at esides@insidenova.com.

(25) comments

InsideCommenter

We need to fix route 28 Koch funded puppet Vega doesn't matter. Satanist Republicans could care less about the residents of PwC.

Zediculous

The Soros funded liberal communists' created this mess to begin with and as usual they don't want to own up fixing it

Citizen52

You know you’ve lost the plot when you have to resort to name-calling.

Bigfoot

"Couldn't care less"

tman

Another decade of unusable 28 while the S and W end of the county add more residents heading N and E. If the work from home trend persists it will be the only relief residents see.

I personally believe the local politicians should all be forced to commute from Woodbridge to Centreville twice a day until this gets resolved.

I will have long since retired out of this area before 28 fixed. Shocking (not) that every intersection on 28 in Fairfax and Loudoun has added an overpass while NOTHING happens in PWC.

alanm9

Those overpasses were funded by a coalition of large Dulles corporations to funnel workers to their sites. Fairfax and Loudon residents paid very little.

Stoptheinsanity

Send that money to the schools to help the children get back to normal. Displacing neighbors to build roads is not a priority now. Telework will be the new norm for at least a couple more years. These guys need to wake up.

Citizen52

than is right about the overpasses in Fairfax and Loudoun, but those are only north of New Braddock in Centreville. The conditions for widening and adding overpasses in Fairfax and Loudoun only exist because the right of way was, and is, much wider and conducive to this change. Prince Willam has always had businesses abutting the road, so no room for such changes. In fact, more businesses and residential units have been added right next to Route 28 over the years. Even if Route 28 is widened, the back-up begins in Fairfax and Loudoun.

tman

Totally agree. PWC planners should have had a bit more foresight regarding the corridor, particularly from Liberia North on 28.

I still remember 28 as a 2 lane road out to Dulles. Unrecognizable now. The new 66 interchange is massive, and long overdue.

alanm9

According to former Supervisor Nohe, all previous BOCS simply assumed a western bypass would be built and widening 28 wouldn't be needed. Those chickens always come home. :)

alanm9

See above reply. Those overpasses were not funded by county residents.

Citizen52

tman is correct (autocorrected)

Allen Muchnick

Thank you, Supervisor Vega, for standing up for your constituents and for sustainable mobility and a more livable Prince William County. In unanimous votes, the BOCS rejected the Rte 28 Bypass (Alternative 2B) and supported moving forward with widening Centreville Road itself through Yorkshire.

Stoptheinsanity

NVTA is corrupt..the scare tactics demonstrated by the last public commenter on NVTA were a disgrace. Anyone serving on the NVTA needs to reexamine the comments placed in a unprecedented time for our community. Mafia scare tactics have no place over the will of the people. NVTA should be reexamined and a decision needs to be made as to whose interests they represent, developers or citizens.

Allen Muchnick

I assume you mean the Northern Virginia Transportation ALLIANCE, the developer-funded highway lobbying group that the last public speaker represented.

The Northern Virginia Transportation AUTHORITY is the quasi-public body that has been funding Rte 28 highway expansion projects and whose board consists primarily of local and state elected officials.

These are two very different groups, but their similar names causes confusion.

Tom Fitzpatrick

Gee, what a surprise.

The self-styled landed gentry of Western Prince William County, with their 10 acre "estates" taxed at agriculture rates will accept - no, demand, the most expensive high school in the State, with swimming pool and moveable orchestra pit, among other atrocities.

But, they won't bear their part of the burden in working to generate the income and the taxes to support their wannabe Loudon Lifestyle.

Gee. I forget. What happened after ol' Marie uttered those infamous words, "Let them eat cake!"

I suspect that, yet again, history may well repeat itself. Because the slaves on the plantations of Eastern Prince William County may one day come to their senses - soon, hopefully - and secure torches and pitchforks and lay waste to the waste that is Western Prince William County.

The biggest shame of all is that the pathetic, incompetent, wannabe politicians on the Eastern end submitted to the demands of the West. Are some of them running for higher office, now, and in the future. Of course they are.

The East has ALWAYS been the doormat, and the cash cow, and the resume builder for crooked politicians on the make. It is a mark of the utter incompetence that, despite their shameless actions, the trail of tears leading out of Eastern Prince William County is literally littered with the bleached bones of parasites who failed to achieve higher office, after failing first to represent their constituents, first.

proviano

Great move by county board. The plan would not have fixed the traffic problem and would have pushed people out of their homes. Instead, they decided to expand lanes on 28. I good start to more that needs to be done. After admitting that the bypass would not make a real difference to the Board, it is good they chose not to displace people for the project.

alanm9

I guess those lovely people who responded to my earlier post about bicycle facilities on the bypass won't get to dance on my grave after all. :(

covid2021

Just make sure you obey traffic laws unlike most of your friends

alanm9

Make sure you and all your motorist friends do the same.

kstev_pwc

I'm concerned this vote was rushed and short-sighted regarding technical specifics. One example...I listened to most of the meeting and several supervisors took a last-minute walk yesterday evening along the Flat Branch near where the bypass would have been built. Concerns were raised, in part because there are poor drainage conditions observed along the creek, particularly during yesterday's storms. Those neighborhoods were built in the 50s and 60s when there when site impact studies/hydro-engineering was almost nil - the lots/streets were constructed right up against the floodways. Several board members sited this as a reason not to construct the road, and changed their votes just recently. On the surface, this argument sounds good, but a significant part of the cost estimate for the bypass road included funds for dredging, flood mitigation etc... in a strange way, the bypass road could have served two purposes - a way for folks to get to work and flood mitigation. The flood mitigation, which is not cheap (you know, tens of millions, not thousands), will eventually need to be done anyway, just now it will have to be done independently. To me a better solution would have been to recognize the challenges of bypass solution, and instead of cancelling it altogether, work hard to make sure the challenges were addressed in the most ecological, fair, and efficient ways. The 28 bypass really could have been the catalyst for Smart Growth around all of Manassas - the hospital, Innovation/GMU, and especially existing 28/Centreville Road in Manassas City (Mathis Ave)/Manassas Park (because it would no longer be as stressed a thruway, things like traffic calming, bike lanes, and sidewalks along the area would now be more feasible). Instead, 28 from the city line to Fairfax County is envisioned to be reconstructed - at great expense - like the recently reconstructed Route 1 in Woodbridge (which several of the board members mentioned as a model)... 6-lane a 45 MPH high-stressed thruway non conducive to pedestrians. If Smart Growth is the goal, this was not the best decision in my opinion, and a huge missed opportunity for PWC and greater Manassas.

Bob1

How many times have our Board of Supervisors failed us. You wonder why we are behind Fairfax and Loudoun County? Just take a look at the losers we have on the Board of Supervisors. Time to buy a tractor so they can pull their head out of their ****. The chairman is a phony - full of platitudes but no business acumen. Another Soros jackass.

Stoptheinsanity

Thanks for the clarification Allen. I wonder what he meant when he spoke of PwC owing millions to NVTA if the bypass is not developed? Given the current pandemic and social unrest building roads seems like a non topic.

Allen Muchnick

Jason Stanford of the NVTAlliance was just trying to scare the BOCS that the $89 million that the NVTAuthority had previously earmarked for either building the Bypass or widening Centreville Rd would be lost, but PWC DOT can still tap that money to widen Centreville Rd in 2021 or 2022.

Antonio Marisol

Correct. Jason Stanford is a lobbyist tool.

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