Joan Morris 703-259-1799
April 8, 2011
FEDERAL DECISION DELAYS MARK CENTER RAMP
FHWA requires environmental assessment for I-395 ramp at Seminary Road
FAIRFAX, Va. ― Virginia’s plan to build and open a carpool and bus ramp at Interstate 395 and Seminary Road may be delayed by 18 months due to the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) decision to require the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) to conduct an Environmental Assessment (EA) rather than a Categorical Exclusion (CE).
VDOT believes a CE is the appropriate level of environmental documentation since the ramp will be built entirely within existing I-395 right of way, will improve air quality by making transit and carpooling more convenient for Mark Center employees and will not have substantial impacts to natural, cultural, recreational, water quality, or historic resources.
With a CE, VDOT had planned to start construction under a design-build contract and complete construction by 2014. FHWA’s decision will delay implementing a solution by up to eighteen months, depending on the number and complexity of the alternatives VDOT is required to study.
By the end of this year, 6,400 Department of Defense employees will be relocated to the Mark Center. VDOT traffic studies show near-gridlock conditions will occur on Seminary Road, Beauregard Street and I-395.
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