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December 15, 2016

Prince William launches new Buckland bypass study

File Photo/Lawrence Emerson
The “Buckland/Gainesville Bypass” would be designed to reduce Route 29 congestion.
Map/Prince William County
The bypass study area extends from New Baltimore to Gainesville and from Route 29 to Interstate 66.
We’re surprised they’re looking at it again. We thought it had been decided. We think it’s a shame they’re going to spend a significant amount of money on this.
— Julie Bolthouse, Piedmont Environmental Council field officer
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
A potential bypass to ease Route 29 traffic congestion around Buckland and Gainesville could cut through a big portion of rural, northeastern Fauquier.

Initiating the study, Prince William County in January will conduct a “kick off” meeting to discuss a so-called “Buckland/Gainesville Bypass.”

Fauquier’s portion of the triangle-shaped study area extends north and east from New Baltimore at Route 600 to Interstate 66.

Determined by Prince William County, the area also includes Broad Run, Haymarket and Gainesville.

A bypass would be designed to reduce traffic through the Buckland area, improve regional travel times and provide a new connection to Interstate 66, according to Prince William officials.

The study will identify three bypass alternatives and a no-build option.

Supervisor Holder Trumbo (Scott District), who represents the Fauquier portion of the study area, worries about land-use and environmental effects of the potential bypass.

“I’m very concerned,” Mr. Trumbo said. “I was against (a bypass through that area) the first time. I don’t know a lot about it now. It’s early.”

A 2006 bypass study showed three alternatives that would “originate” along Route 29 in Fauquier and link to Interstate 66. Interchanges would serve the Route 29 and I-66 connections.

Fauquier County officials and the Piedmont Environmental Council strongly opposed the bypass options.

The Virginia Department of Transportation shelved the study in 2009.

Mr. Trumbo also questioned the state’s ability to fund a bypass, when so many other approved transportation projects remain unbuilt.

“Where’s the money going to come from?” the supervisor said.

“We have significant concerns about it,” PEC Field Officer Julie Bolthouse said. “It would open up a lot of land for development. We’ll be paying close attention to (the study)."

Ms. Bolthouse also expressed concerns about a bypass’s effects on the area’s environmental, historic and scenic resources.

“We’re surprised they’re looking at it again,” she said. “We thought it had been decided. We think it’s a shame they’re going to spend a significant amount of money on this.”

Using federal government funds passed through VDOT, the study will cost $270,000.

Supervisor Trumbo hopes Prince William will “involve” Fauquier in the study.

Fauquier, VDOT and PEC representatives will be notified of the January meeting, Prince William County Transportation Planner George Phillips said.

No specific date, time or location of the meeting have been determined, Mr. Phillips said.

“The meeting will be to talk about the goal and objectives of the study and how we want to move forward with the study and the approach,” he said.

Buckland:Gainesville Bypass Study Scope by Fauquier Now on Scribd

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rally39 · December 18, 2016 at 11:43 am
Fauquier pays the price for PWC and VDOT's stupidity. Why they allowed Rt 20 north of the county line to become so congested with development / restricted with traffic signals totally boggles the mind. Development along the 29 corridor could have been accomplished with service roads running parrallel to 29 and accessed by an occasional under / overpass intersection. Piss Poor Planning Produces Piss Poor Results 100 % of the time. Welcome to transportation Hell.
A_Local_Man · December 15, 2016 at 11:52 pm
Something in Broad Run near Chapman's Mill would make a lot of sense as Beverly's Mill Rd already connects to rt 29 in New Baltimore. A couple off/on ramps would make quick work of it all.
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