Question: Why does this 3.5 mile transportation project take 10 years to complete?
Answer: We were misled that there would be a multi-year design, engineering and environmental phase needed, including conducting an extensive and burdensome environmental process under NEPA/Section 106. The fact of matter is that this 3.5 mile project is neither required to conduct an extensive and burdensome environmental process under Federal law nor should the design, engineering and environmental phase take longer than a year. Below are some important points to note:
- The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) funding application (submitted in December 2017) contained the 10-year timeline to complete, including a 3+ year period for design, engineering and environmental work.
- Extensive presentations were made and discussions occurred during Route 15 Stakeholder Committee Meetings around the NEPA/Section 106 process: https://www.loudoun.gov/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/7549
- The Board package for this week’s meeting on Thursday September 20th (Item 7, Route 15 – Congestion Report Improvements) states the following under Environmental and Historic Resources:
“The Route 15 corridor contains karst features, notably limestone rock outcroppings and sink holes; streams and springs. Additionally, there are several historic sites along the corridor, including the Ball’s Bluff Battlefield. The Route 15 widening project is funded with Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) and local funds which do not require a formal environmental review such as a National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) study, National Historic Preservation Act Section 106, or State Environmental Review Process (SERP). Although not mandated based on the funding sources, the County will work to minimize or avoid impacts on historical, cultural and archeological resources as practically feasible throughout the design and construction phases of the project. Wetlands, floodplains and historical assets will be inventoried, researched and categorized.”
Supervisory Higgins, where is the new timeline, urgency and leadership to Fix Route 15 Now?