A controversial highway plan in Northern Virginia may have gotten a boost from Gov. Terry McAuliffe.
At a gathering of the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce, McAuliffe was asked a question about the Bi-County Parkway, to which he responded that he expects the proposed highway to receive a high priority rating in the state's new scoring system for road projects, according to a report in the newspaper Leesburg Today.
That's exactly what the many opponents of the parkway fear. But state Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne says a funding decision for the parkway is a year away.
"The governor has been very clear that there will be no favorites and that it doesn't matter what locality it is in. However these projects are scored will be the ones they favor," he says.
Chris Miller at the Piedmont Environmental Council, which has fought the highway plan for years, says the governor's remarks to the Loudoun Chamber are not consistent with his past statements.
"Every project should be scrutinized and there should be no predetermined outcomes. We are certainly expecting that is still the policy of the state," he says.
Projects will be scored based on criteria such as congestion relief, economic development, and environmental impacts.