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U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C., www.dot.gov/affairs/briefing.htm - News

FHWA 44-10
Monday, Sept. 13, 2010
Contact: Nancy Singer
Tel: 202-366-0660

Nation's Top Highway Official On Hand to Help Open Virginia's Fairfax County Parkway Extension

Core of Northern Virginia 'Megaproject' Completed Before Expected Traffic Surge

FAIRFAX, Va.- Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez joined state and local officials today for the ribbon-cutting of the first two phases of the $179.8 million Fairfax County Parkway Extension, which is expected to greatly increase road capacity for drivers in and around Fort Belvoir.

"Helping get drivers out of traffic congestion, and safely to their jobs and homes, is a priority for us," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "This project is an investment in the future of northern Virginia that will also enhance the region's livability."

The first two phases of the four-phase project completed the final two miles of the Fairfax County Parkway, an interchange at Rolling Road and the Belvoir North Area, an access road and an extension of Boudinot Drive to provide an on-ramp to the southbound parkway. For the first time, Fairfax County will be connected from Route 7 in the north to Route 1 near Fort Belvoir.

The first two phases used $80 million in Federal Highway Administration funds. The final two phases - which will be completed next year - rely on $45.8 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

"The next phases of this critical project would not have been started until 2015 at the earliest without the Recovery Act dollars," said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez. "Investments in infrastructure not only increase safety and relieve congestion, they create jobs and strengthen the economy."

Extending the parkway is part of an effort by the Virginia Department of Transportation to ready the region for a surge in daily traffic in the fall of 2011, which will result from the area's Army base relocation program. It is expected to bring 43,000 new jobs - and a similar number of drivers - to Fort Belvoir, the Mark Center and the Engineering Proving Ground in Springfield.

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