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Fairfax Officials Favor Widening Route 1 In Place

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It's looking likely that U.S. Route 1 will be widened in place in Fairfax County.
William F. Yurasko (http://www.flickr.com/photos/wfyurasko/3711698304/)
It's looking likely that U.S. Route 1 will be widened in place in Fairfax County.

Elected officials representing the Mount Vernon portion of Fairfax County have come out in favor of widening Route 1 where it is, rather than rerouting it to prevent encroaching on a historic property.

Be careful what you ask for; you just might get it. That's the lesson in Fairfax County, where elected leaders pressed for money to widen Route 1 to deal with increased traffic demand from Fort Belvoir. They eventually got $180 million, but soon realized that widening in place would encroach on historic Woodlawn plantation. Rerouting the road to the south east would disrupt a horse stable.

Delegate Dave Albo and several other elected officials have now come out in support of the option to widen in place. "Because I had 40 constituents call me to widen in place, and I had 0.0% asking to do the option that goes around and takes out the Woodlawn Stables," says Albo.

That means that several graves at Woodlawn Baptist Church will probably have to be reinterred to make room for the widened road. Pastor Travis Hilton estimates that half of the graves would have to be moved — a difficult proposition for the families with loved ones buried there.

"I don't see how, when you are looking at the family plots, and I've walked around several times just thinking about this, how it is that you draw the line because we have overlapping family plots," says Hilton.

The Federal Highway Administration has the final say on the decision.

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