VDOT News - Northern Virginia
Oct. 13, 2020
VDOT Extends Public Comment Period for 495 NEXT Project
Public invited to provide formal input on project’s environmental assessment and draft design plans until December 4, 2020
FAIRFAX – The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) announced today it will extend the formal public comment period for the 495 Express Lanes Northern Extension Project (495 NEXT) until Friday, December 4, 2020. The public is invited to provide formal input on the project’s Environmental Assessment (EA) and draft design plans, which were presented to the public at a virtual hearing on October 5 and an in-person hearing on October 8.
VDOT’s extension of the formal comment period will allow additional time and opportunities for the public to learn about the project and provide feedback prior to finalizing the environmental document and design plans. During this extended period, VDOT’s project team will proactively reach out and engage with affected communities and stakeholders to ensure they have the 495 NEXT project information they need and the opportunity to provide input.
“Extending the formal comment period until December 4 provides our team more time to arrange meetings with, and address questions and concerns of, surrounding communities who may be affected by the proposed 495 NEXT Project,” commented VDOT’s Megaprojects Director, Susan Shaw, P.E. “Being flexible is critical during this unprecedented time, and allows us more time to listen to and address the needs of surrounding residents and commuters, while responsibly implementing transportation improvements in Northern Virginia.”
The deadline for formal comments on the project’s Environmental Assessment and draft design plans was October 23, following the October public hearings. The original public hearing for this project was scheduled for March 12, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The project’s EA and design plans were made available to the public beginning on February 26, at which time the formal comment period began. The comment period has remained open, and all comments received to date will be entered into VDOT’s public record for the project and do not need to be resubmitted.
Once all public comments have been received and considered by VDOT’s project team, the Federal Highway Administration will review VDOT’s final Environmental Assessment documentation and issue a decision in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
The 495 Express Lanes Northern Extension Project proposes to extend the 495 Express Lanes by approximately three miles from the Dulles Toll Road interchange to the George Washington Memorial Parkway in the vicinity of the American Legion Bridge.
Visit 495NorthernExtension.org to learn about the project, review public hearing materials and information, and learn how to provide comments.
On Twitter, follow VDOT Northern Virginia at @vadotnova.
Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.