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FAMPO again backs parkway

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The controversial Rappahannock Parkway came up at Monday’s Fredericksburg Area Metropolitan Planning Organization meeting, but this time the Policy Committee conversation was polite.

The parkway first came up as part of a letter Chairman Matt Kelly crafted for Aubrey Layne, the state’s transportation secretary.

The letter asks Layne to restore $2 million in funding for the parkway, as well as $30 million for the Courthouse interchange project in Stafford County.

Under a new prioritization policy signed by Gov. Terry McAuliffe, the Commonwealth Transportation Board removed the large chunk of funding from the Stafford interchange project in a draft of the next Six-Year Improvement program.

It looks like that funding has a good chance of being returned to the project when the CTB votes on it in June.

The parkway funding was removed while FAMPO members battled over the bypass, which is part of the Rappahannock River Crossing.

The project would add collector–distributor roads along Interstate 95 from the U.S. 17 exit in Stafford to the State Route 3 exit. Both interchanges also would be improved.

The parkway would run from the I–95 Rest Area west and connect with State Route 3 in the Gordon Road area.

Spotsylvania representatives on FAMPO, however, do not want the parkway.

The committee accepted the letter without any discussion.

But Spotsylvania Supervisor Paul Trampe, serving as an alternate, did oppose the parkway later in the meeting, when the committee accepted a draft of the 2015–18 Transportation Improvement Program. The program lists projects expected to receive federal funding, including transit, rail and such projects as the the Rappahannock River Crossing.

Trampe voted for the program’s draft.

“I’m going to vote for the package because there’s a lot of good things in here, but I want to go on record that I’m still opposed to the I–95 to Gordon Road project,” he said.

The committee also removed the mention of the parkway being a toll road, which was in the original plan.

A public hearing will be held at FAMPO’s June 16 meeting before the committee votes on the improvement program.

Public comments on the plan will be accepted during the next month and at the public hearing.

The improvement plan draft is on FAMPO’s website.

Scott Shenk: 540/374-5436

sshenk@freelancestar.com

COMMENTS

The public has 30 days to comment on a draft of the 2015–18 Transportation Improvement Program.

Send letters to Fredericksburg Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, 406 Princess Anne Street, Fredericksburg, VA 22401

MORE INFO: A public hearing on the transportation plan will be held on June 16.

 

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