Manassas leaders also reverse course on Route 28 bypass

For Manassas, it’s the bypass.

The City Council unanimously voted to support a plan to extend Godwin Drive, creating a four-lane, four-mile Route 28 bypass. Known as “alternative 2B,” the road would connect with Route 28 at Bull Run, on the Fairfax County line.

The move comes after the council in July failed to endorse the bypass plan. Later on August 4, leaders in Prince William County voted to scrap it.

But last week, those same leaders reversed course, took another vote, and revived the road by opting to spend $89 million to design the four-lane road. The decision came following threats from the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority that it would pull the funding and allocate it to other projects.

As Manassas Vice Mayor Pamela Sebesky had said at the July meeting, “the city needs to wait for the Board of County Supervisors to make a decision before it can weigh in.”

“I think it’s presumptive of us a council to not allow them to make that decision and then support what the Board of County Supervisors’ decision will be in the near future,” Sebesky said.

And now that the county has spoken, city leaders say wanted their chance, and passed the resolution unanimously.

According to city documents:

“The City of Manassas remains a key stakeholder in this project. The Board of County Supervisors held a public hearing on the preferred alignment on July 14, 2020. After initially denying the request to endorse the bypass, the Board of County Supervisors approved Alignment 2B on September 8, 2020.”

Business groups like the Prince William Chamber of Commerce supported the bypass because it adds to the region’s existing road network, and would ease delays on Route 28 — dubbed Nothern Virginia’s most congested road prior to the coronavirus pandemic.

The bypass is expected to cost $300 million to construct and a total of 54 homes would need to be demolished.

Once the road is designed, those plans need to be approved by the Army Corps of Eginneers becuase a portion of the road will plow through wetlands of Flat Branch, located at Bull Run Regional Park.

5 thoughts on “Manassas leaders also reverse course on Route 28 bypass

  1. The Manassas City Council was wise to not weigh in before the Prince William County Board of Supervisors had made its decision.

    In part, business interests support the Bypass because the new highway would subsidize additional low-density residential sprawl development to the west of Manassas and Prince William County and in Prince William County’s rural crescent.

    Opposition to this ineffective and needlessly destructive Bypass has also been diminished by the horrendous public involvement for the Route 28 Corridor Studies and because advocacy for this road has spouted misleading information, serious distortions of the truth, and outright lies.

    Building this Bypass would necessitate hundreds of millions of dollars for additional highway widening and intersection projects–both to its north and south–to address the new traffic congestion that the Bypass would create along Godwin Dr and Rte 28 in Fairfax County. The City of Manassas would need to widen Godwin Dr to six lanes between Nokesville Rd and Sudley Rd and would likely also need to build a costly overpass for Godwin Dr at Wellington Road and the Norfolk Southern Railroad.

    In a year or two, when the preliminary engineering for the Bypass is 60% complete and PWC submits an application to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for a wetlands construction permit, we will find out if this project a) can move forward as currently proposed, b) will require design changes (e.g., building an elevated highway above the flood plain), that would raise its cost significantly, or c) would not be permitted under any feasible circumstances.

  2. The transparency of the Prince William County Supervisors has hit a unprecedented low with the September 15 meeting. Moving times, locations, no video, no online communication, short notice, and to top it off the fire marshall kicking people out under the guise of covid. What a disgrace and a shame to all of us citizens. The only one that has a backbone and a education in the real world is Yesli Vega.

  3. A lot of people still can’t get over the county is changing. The population is increasing, development of homes and infrastructure (roads) to support those homes is a logical consiquence. The days of fields and farms has ended. God bless the people like Dianica Roem that pushed for this development.

    Haters gotta hate and hope for the worst.

    1. Delegate Roem has NOT pushed for this Bypass, which would displace or serously degrade the homes of hundreds of her lower-income constituents. In fact, at the September 10 meeting of the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, Delegate Roem cast the sole vote to NOT advance this Bypass for preliminary engineering.

      Instead, Delegate Roem pushed VDOT for two years to conduct a separate Strategic Targeted Affordable Roadway Solutions (STARS) study for Centreville Road itself through Yorkshire. That already-completed study recommends implementing a modest $38 million package of innovative intersection, raised median, and missing sidewalk improvements that would do much more than the misguided Bypass to fix Route 28 traffic congestion, improve travel times, and increase traveler safety.

      The Bypass is actually unnecessary and counterproductive. According to the May 2019 Traffic Technical Report for the Bypass, traffic along the Route 28 corridor would be WORSE in 2040 than it is today, and it would be even worse than doing nothing along the road segments both north and south of this Bypass.

      The only sustainable solution for traffic congestion along suburban highways is to provide viable alternatives to drive-alone commuting and to build more mixed-use, live-work-play walkable communities served by effective public transportation, where residents do not need to drive everywhere for everything.

      You’re right about one thing: Yorkshire isn’t rural anymore.

  4. Still parsing details… “Fixing Route 28 remains my number one priority, that hasn’t changed,” Roem. God bless this person who was elected to these changes. It’s possible because of her.

    If only previous elected officials actually pushed for other sustainable options. They didn’t so it’s the lesser of crappy options. Yorkshire hasn’t been rural for a long time. Too bad people are still dragging their feet about change.

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