nvdaily.com link to home page

Traffic | Weather | Mobile Edition
      Archives | Subscribe | Special Sections


Local News arrow State arrow Traffic & Transportation

| 0

Area legislators say proposed six-lane I-81 is a way off

2012_09_06_DMV5.jpg
A tractor trailer travels southbound on Interstate 81 outside the Stephens City weigh station recently. Rich Cooley/Daily (Buy photo)


By Joe Beck

A proposed widening of Interstate 81 south of Winchester north to Carlisle, Pa., has received a mixed reaction from a pair of Northern Shenandoah Valley lawmakers.

Del. C. Todd Gilbert, R-Woodstock, endorsed the idea Monday of expanding I-81 to six lanes as a way of easing thickened traffic congestion, but State Sen. Jill Vogel, said new improvements should emphasize better bridges, truck climbing lanes and entrance and exits on the road.

Legislators participating in the Quad State Legislative Conference in Waynesboro, Pa., last week unanimously approved a resolution asking Congress for money to widen I-81 to six lanes through southern Frederick County northward.

The Quad State gathering is open to legislators from Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Delaware, although no one from Virginia attended last week's conference.

Gilbert co-chairs the I-81 caucus in the General Assembly, a collection of delegates and senators from districts linked together by interstate.

He said the Virginia Department of Transportation typically exerts the greatest influence over when, where and how road projects are built, but federal oversight comes into play with I-81.

"This is the first I've heard of anybody asking the federal government for permission along those lines," Gilbert said of funding request.

Vogel called it "unlikely" that Congress will approve a widening anytime soon, "and I'm sure different localities will view it differently."

"I absolutely do believe we need improvements on I-81," Vogel said. "It is high time. It's not uncommon to have one accident that backs up traffic for one hour."

Gilbert called the Quad State proposal "increasingly consistent with what we've asked should be done in the past."

He said area legislators have sought a "measured" approach to widening and been wary of more extensive proposals that would widen I-81 to 10 or 12 lanes.

A widening project on such a scale would threaten farms, homes, businesses and battlefields along the route, Gilbert said.

"We obviously have to build sufficient highway capacity to address safety concerns, especially with how congested (I-81) becomes. Maybe a superhighway goes too far. Six lanes instead of four are pretty much what we've been trying to get them to do."

Gilbert added that he didn't think the Quad State resolution would make much difference in determining future improvements on I-81. He said he had not been aware of the meeting when it was held.

"I don't know how practical they are as far as accomplishing anything," Gilbert said of multi-state legislative conferences. "Those things just end up being meetings where nothing ever gets done. We try to focus on things that achieve outcomes."

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com


Keep up to date on local news

Sign up here to receive Northern Virginia Daily news delivered to your email box each morning and when breaking news occurs.

Comments

Comments that are posted represent the opinion of the commenter and not the Northern Virginia Daily/nvdaily.com. View our comments/submisssions policy. Report abuse by clicking the X next to the comment.













Local News Sections

Agency on Aging Agriculture Alex Bridges Apple Blossom Festival Aviation Basye Berryville Boyce Breaking News Business Charities Civil War Clarke County Colleges Corrections Courthouse Notes: Permits, Transactions Courts & Legal News Crime & Public Safety Economy and Jobs Edinburg Education Edward N. Bell Election 2012 Entertainment Environment Fairs & Festivals Fire & Rescue Fishers Hill Fort Valley Frederick County Front Royal George Washington National Forest Guest Column Hard Times Health History Holidays Homes In The Spotlight Jeff Nations Joe Beck Josette Keelor Kim Walter Ledger Livestock Local Markets Maurertown Media Middletown Military & Veterans Moms Mount Jackson New Market Page County Pets & Animals Politics Progress 2013 Quicksburg Religion Rockingham County RSW Jail Ryan Cornell School News Shenandoah County Shenandoah Farms Volunteer Fire Department Star Tannery State Stephens City Steven A. Boyce Strasburg Toms Brook Traffic & Transportation Utilities Valley 911 Warren County Weather West Virginia Winchester Woodstock Year in Review




News | Sports | Business | Lifestyle | Obituaries | Opinion | Multimedia| Entertainment | Classifieds
Contact Us | NIE | Place a Classified | Privacy Policy | Comments/Submissions Policy | Subscribe

Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily | nvdaily.com | 152 N. Holliday St., Strasburg, Va. 22657 | (800) 296-5137

nvdaily.com
2013 Virginia Press Association Sweepstakes Winner
The Best Small Daily Newspaper in Virginia!


nvdaily.com | seeshenandoah.com