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Orange interested in bypass–but not in paying for it


Orange County is interested in pursuing further study of an alternate connector route that would bypass much of the State Route 3 traffic between Interstate 95 and the Wilderness Battlefield area, but has no interest in contributing financially to the effort.

After hearing explanations last month of the Fredericksburg Bypass Project proposed by Spotsylvania County Supervisor David Ross and his fellow board members, the Orange County Board of Supervisors asked County Attorney Tom Lacheney to draft a resolution supporting further study of the proposal, but made it clear they were not ready to make any financial commitment to the effort.

At their meeting Tuesday, the supervisors voted unanimously to adopt the resolution as it was presented to them.

The resolution states that, while such a bypass could have a significant impact on Orange County, the supervisors currently do not have sufficient information to consider what that impact might be. It notes that Orange County is unwilling to make any sort of commitment, financial or in support of the proposed project, without significant additional information, but does indicate interest in receiving additional information on the proposal.

The resolution concludes: “The Orange County Board of Supervisors does hereby express an interest in learning more about the proposed bypass road, and does hereby support further study of the project, so long as such studies are conducted at no cost to Orange County.”

During a public comment period on the Route 3 Strategic Visioning Initiative being worked on by the supervisors, Planning Commission and Economic Development Authority, one speaker appeared, and questioned several of the assumptions on which the effort was based.

Steve Satterfield of Rapidan said that the 2004 survey in which a majority of respondents felt that the growth rate in Orange County was “about right” or “too slow,” did not make clear what people wanted.

“People told us what they wanted by moving here,” he said. “They love Orange County and don’t want it to be a different place.”

He also noted that Orange County’s unemployment rate was less than the national average, and urged the supervisors to “focus on economic development that benefits our current citizens.”

Dan McFarland:


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