Plans for Outer Beltway Through Loudoun and Pr. William Revived

By Tim Persinko
|  Wednesday, May 18, 2011  |  Updated 7:08 PM EDT
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A controversial plan to build a shortcut connecting northern Virginia's outer suburbs is getting a second look.

Jane Watrel

A controversial plan to build a shortcut connecting northern Virginia's outer suburbs is getting a second look.

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Its a plan that has been around, and rejected, for decades: an Outer Beltway through Loudoun and Prince William counties.

The project, also referred to as the Western Transportation Corridor, or as the Northern Virginia Connector, is being taken up in Richmond on Wednesday.  Virginia transportation secretary Sean Connaughton would like to declare the Outer Beltway project a "corridor of statewide significance," a designation that could accelerate funding for the roadway.

The proposed road would run north and south from I-95 in Stafford County to Route 7 in Loudoun County.

Local civic groups have spoken out against the plan's resurrection. Opponents of the road says it will cut through rural sections of the outer counties and invite new sprawling new development.

"As a Loudoun resident, I'm deeply frustrated by the failure to address our east-west commuting problem," said Greg Jones of Loudoun Citizens for a County Transportation Plan.  "I don't want to see attention and money diverted to a north-south outer beltway that will make our traffic worse, not better."

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