Richmond Highway Plan Will Affect Cemetery Or Stables | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Richmond Highway Plan Will Affect Cemetery Or Stables

Play associated audio
 
A sign in the Mount Vernon district of Fairfax County sides with the Woodlawn Stables in the U.S. Route 1 widening debate; the road project will either bisect the stables or a cemetery. 
Michael Pope
  A sign in the Mount Vernon district of Fairfax County sides with the Woodlawn Stables in the U.S. Route 1 widening debate; the road project will either bisect the stables or a cemetery. 

In a graveyard atop the hill at Woodlawn Baptist Church, the sound of rushing traffic is an ever-present feature.

"We're obviously right on top on the road, I mean, people driving by can see these beautiful monuments, very historic looking," says Pastor Travis Hilton. "They don't make tombstones like this anymore."

More than 100 of these graves could be exhumed if the Federal Highway Administration approves a plan to widen U.S. Route 1 — known in this area as Richmond Highway — along its current route. Hilton wants the federal government should build the road to the south of the church cemetery.

"It's not just about dead people who no longer are here, but it's about the living because we believe that those who are here, who have worshipped here for generations, that we share something in common that is eternal in value," says Hilton.

A few hundred feet away, it's the Woodlawn Horse Stables that would be in jeopardy if federal officials went with the southern bypass. Tim Mitchell says the graves should be moved to save the popular horse stables.

"I would say graves can be moved a little easier," he says. "It's probably costly, but they can still stay in the church property."

State and federal elected officials have endorsed a plan to widen the road where it is, saving the horse stables but exhuming the graves. That's a problem for the National Trust for Historic Preservation because it would encroach on a Frank Lloyd Wright house and a historic plantation estate.

"We understand the need for the mitigation of traffic, but paramount for us as the National Trust for Historic Preservation is that we protect our history, which is our most important asset," says Germonique Ulmer, a senior director of public affairs for the trust.

Last week, the Department of Defense allocated $180 million to the Federal Highway Administration to widen the road. Federal officials are expected to make a decision this summer.

--

Michael Pope is also a reporter with the Connection Newspapers who provides special coverage of Northern Virginia for WAMU 88.5. His story for the Connection can be found at ArlingtonConnection.com

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, July 30

You can keep things old school with a classic musical and an exhibit featuring watercolor paintings from the 1800s.

NPR

Farming The Bluefin Tuna, Tiger Of The Ocean, Is Not Without A Price

Scientists are trying to raise prized bluefin tuna completely in captivity. An experiment at a Baltimore college is the first successful attempt in North America.
NPR

Senate's Highway Trust Fund Bill Sets Up Conflict With The House

A short-term fix for the nearly empty Highway Trust Fund is a step closer to President Obama's desk. Congress has been talking about the long-term problems with the construction account, but the two chambers have not agreed on a long-term solution.
NPR

OkCupid Sometimes Messes A Bit With Love, In The Name Of Science

OkCupid, the online dating site, disclosed Monday that they sometimes manipulate their users' profiles for experiments.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.