Wednesday, February 05, 2014


The Virginia House Transportation Committee voted Tuesday to send a bill requiring further study of a new Potomac River crossing to the House Appropriations Committee. Bill HB-1244 would require the Virginia Department of Transportation to review the results of an ongoing demand study for a new bridge. The study area is between existing crossings at Point of Rocks (US 15) and the Harry Nice Bridge (US 301). A new crossing would be constructed within that area.

Historically, new Potomac River bridges had been planned at several locations. Most notable were those to connect the unbuilt Rockville Freeway to the Fairfax County Parkway at Riverbend Park, and the unbuilt Outer Beltway (I-370 extension) to VA 28. Other bridges were considered at Arizona Avenue in the District, and in relation to the George Washington Parkway. Failure to build some - or all - of these crossings is a major factor in today's congestion on the American Legion Bridge in Bethesda, and on I-495 and I-270. A recent Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments study concluded that about a quarter of all traffic on the American Legion Bridge is heading to or from the Dulles area.

If the study shows a need for a new crossing (duh!), the bill requires VDOT to furnish recommendations for specific crossing sites to the Virginia General Assembly, and VA Secretary of Transportation, by December 1, 2015.

HB-1244 is co-sponsored by Del. Thomas Davis Rust and J. Randall Minchew. There is some urgency regarding the bill, as the House Appropriations Committee has only three meetings scheduled before all non-budget House bills must be finished.

A new crossing has been endorsed by U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Virginia).


Anonymous said...

Anyone who commutes from MoCo to Fairfax knows we need another crossing. It would pay dividends immediately. The Legion bridge is to top bottleneck in the DC region every rush hour.

There was a nice bus service from Bethesda to Tysons 10 years ago. It ran on the Beltway shoulder. It was stopped due to lack of ridership.

Anonymous said...

Cue the countdown to Maryland saying it will never consider building another crossing due to environmental factors. In the meantime all the traffic that sits on the beltway between the bridge and the spur does more than its fair share of damage thanks to pollution.

Maryland will never allow it to happen.

Anonymous said...

Make drivers on the bridges pay a toll instead of freeloading off the taxpayers who take Metro. The congestion on the bridge will vanish, no need for an expensive new bridge, and we'll have the money we need to build a new Metro crossing of the Potomac. And the rest of the Beltway will be a lot less crowded too.