Washington, D.C. – Following a lengthy discussion, the National Capital Region Transportation Planning (TPB) voted today to remove an Interstate 66 project from the 2009 Constrained Long-Range Transportation Plan (CLRP). The TPB was acting on a resolution to approve a set of projects for inclusion in the air quality conformity assessment. The assessment is a necessity for projects to be included in the regional plan.
The I-66 project that was removed today consisted of spot improvements on portions of the interstate located within the Capital Beltway. I-66, which runs from Front Royal, Virginia into Washington, D.C. is a key passageway for area commuters. The project had previously been deferred due to a lack of funding.
After an initial roll call vote resulted in a tie, Chris Zimmerman, TPB Member and Arlington County Board Member, requested that a weighted vote be taken. A weighted vote, an unusual move for the Board, allocates each jurisdiction in the region a percentage of the vote proportional to their population. The final weighted vote was 9.16 in favor of removing the project and 5.84 opposed. Zimmerman and several other Board members expressed their desire to see the results of a multi-modal environmental impact study before approving the project’s inclusion in the CLRP.
The CLRP identifies all regionally significant transportation projects and programs that are planned in the Washington metropolitan area from the present until 2030. Over 750 projects are included, ranging from simple highway landscaping to billion-dollar highway and transit projects.