VDOT SELECTS PRIVATE PROPOSAL TO IMPROVE THE ROUTE 28 CORRIDOR
May 3, 2001; For Immediate Release
Commonwealth Transportation Commissioner Charles D. "Chip" Nottingham
today announced that he has selected a private team of transportation
firms led by Clark Construction Group, Inc., Shirley Contracting
Corporation and Dewberry & Davis LLC to improve Route 28 between
I-66 in Fairfax County and Route 7 in Loudoun County.
"This is a major milestone for Route 28," said Commissioner Nottingham.
"We will begin immediately negotiations for a comprehensive agreement
and contract that will allow construction to begin as soon as possible
and finish by 2006", said Commissioner Nottingham.
Virginia is the national leader in using public-private partnerships
to bring new innovative funding streams to transportation improvements.
The Route 28 Tax District and transportation corridor is at the
epicenter of Virginia's success story as a high-growth leader in
technology and economic development.
"Dulles Airport, AOL Time Warner, World Com, other leading businesses,
and tens of thousands of commuters depend on Route 28", the Commissioner
The Public-Private Transportation Act (PPTA) of 1995 allows private
entities to submit proposals to VDOT for transportation improvements.
During the summer of 2000, two firms, one led by Clark/Shirley/Dewberry
and the other by Fluor Daniel/Morrison Knudsen, LLC (FD/MK), submitted
separate proposals to improve the 14-mile corridor.
The Clark/Shirley/Dewberry consortium, officially known as "The
Route 28 Corridor Improvements, LLC" proposed upgrading 10 intersections
to grade separated interchanges and widening the roadway from six
to eight lanes.
The FD/MK proposal calls for upgrading 10 intersections and widening
the roadway to 10 lanes, four of which would be express high occupancy
toll (HOT) lanes.
proposals are in the $287 to $383 million dollar range for design,
right of way acquisition and construction. VDOT's financial participation
will be about $84.7 million. Tax district revenues will support
the Commonwealth Transportation Board's conceptual approval of both
proposals, the Route 28 Advisory Panel was formed to formally review
the proposals. Members included James F. Hayes, Deputy Secretary
of Transportation; Leonard S. "Hobie" Mitchel, Commonwealth Transportation
Board member; Andrew V. Bailey, VDOT Assistant Commissioner for
Finance; Frank Gee, VDOT Acting Chief Engineer; and Nick Garber,
a University of Virginia engineering professor.
The panel made its final decision based on team qualifications,
engineering merit, financial feasibility, public support and compatibility
with the existing roadway network. On May 1, 2001, the panel made
a unanimous recommendation to Commissioner Nottingham who, pursuant
to the Public-Private Transportation Act and implementing regulation,
made the final decision.
One concern raised by the panel regarding the FD/MK proposal was
the restricted access to the proposed toll lanes. Under that proposal
tax district members, who would pay for most of the improvements,
would have limited access to the HOT lanes because access points
were proposed only at I-66, the Dulles Toll Road and Route 7.
"Congestion pricing and high occupancy toll lanes are innovative
funding strategies that may play a promising role in future new
highway projects in highly congested areas", said Nottingham. "Today's
decision should not be construed as an indication that VDOT is not
interested in exploring the use of HOT lanes."
Fairfax County, Loudoun County and the Metropolitan Washington Airports
Authority reviewed the detailed proposals earlier this year and
expressed their support for the PPTA concept to accelerate improvements
in the corridor.
Route 28 was widened from two lanes to six lanes in 1991 with landowners
paying 80 percent of the construction cost. The most heavily traveled
section of Route 28 is just north of Dulles Toll Road with 70,000
vehicles per day. By 2010, the same section is expected to carry
135,000 vehicles per day.