Solutions Not Sprawl, a campaign to protect Montgomery County's
Agricultural Reserve in Maryland, has an excellent background on the Techway available
on their website.
Time and again, studies have shown there is no need or demand
for a second bridge across the Potomac River. Furthermore, these studies
have shown that the construction of a second bridge would seriously impact Loudoun
County with new traffic and development pressures.
1. A second bridge will increase development pressures.
A second crossing will increase development pressures, not only in Loudoun County
but also in areas west of us, such as West Virginia. New development in
these areas mean more commuters on Loudoun roads trying to get east to job centers
such as Tysons Corner and Arlington.
2. A second bridge will generate new traffic and won't give commuters
relief. Studies have shown that a second crossing would be quickly gridlocked
due to new traffic generated by the
According to the Virginia Department of Transportation’s (VDOT) own studies,
a new techway bridge connecting to either the Fairfax County Parkway or Route
28 would have a failing level of service as a direct result of induced traffic.
In a 1999 analysis, VDOT reported that 75-84% of traffic on any bridge crossing
in 2020 would be induced traffic.
3. A second crossing will exacerbate traffic problems in Loudoun
County. New traffic generated by a second crossing will feed directly onto
Loudoun’s commuting corridors, including Route 7, the Greenway, and the
Dulles Toll Road. In addition, a second crossing will not help the majority
of Loudoun commuters, who travel east-west.
A study by Smart Mobility analyzed the land use and transportation benefits
of new river crossings, and found a 89% traffic increase on Route 28 if the Techway
were built, and a 189% increase on Route 28 if the WTC were built.
4. A second crossing will divert taxpayer dollars from critically needed
projects. The incredibly high cost of construction for a second crossing will
take away our taxpayer dollars from the traffic fixes we desperately need in Loudoun
County - and spend the money on a project for which there is no demand.
While there has been no official cost projection for a second crossing, we
can get an idea of the scope: the Tri-County Parkway segment recently approved
is a 10.5-mile section of highway that would run from Manassas north to Route
50. This project, which would run mostly through undeveloped land, will
cost $19 million per mile to build.
Compare that price tag to the cost of a new bridge and its approaches, taking
into account expensive and technically difficult environmental mitigation measures
with the Potomac River. In addition, a second crossing could potentially
require the removal of dozens or even hundreds of homes in Loudoun County, which
would require significant compensation to home owners.
5. Study after study has shown that there is no demand for a second crossing.
Numerous studies have been conducted over the years –
and every study comes up with the same answer: there is no demand for a second
crossing, and any future demand would be traffic induced by a second bridge.
So why does the idea keep popping up? Special interests, including developers
and those involved with Dulles Airport, continue to raise the issue.
• The VDOT Techway Origin and Destination Study of 2004 showed that the
U-shaped commutes between middle and upper Montgomery County and the Dulles Corridor
and Loudoun represent a very small percentage of Virginia and Maryland commuters.
The report shows that just 342 VA vehicles traveled from the Dulles, Route 15,
Route 28, and I-66 corridors to Gaithersburg. No more than 1,637 MD vehicles traveled
from the entire I-270 corridor including Frederick to the I-66 and Dulles corridors
• Just 4% of Virginia trips to work are made to ALL of Montgomery County.
However, 74.5% of Virginia trips to work are made to core job centers including
Tysons Corner, Arlington, Pentagon, DC, etc. How can we justify so much money
for 4% of Virginia commuters when we have so many other pressing needs?
6. A second crossing could severely impact or even destroy several
Loudoun neighborhoods. In 2001, Congressman Frank Wolfe appropriated
$2 million for a study on the feasibility of a techway bridge. He later canceled
the study, saying “it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to build
a new bridge without negatively impacting established neighborhoods or cutting
7. Montgomery County, Maryland, opposes a second crossing. The
Montgomery County Council has gone on record to oppose a second crossing.
In 2004, the council unanimously passed a resolution opposing any bridge, citing
"concerns about destruction of existing neighborhoods, damage to parkland
along the Potomac River and the need to protect the county's 90,000-acre Agricultural
8. A second crossing will jeopardize our region's air quality.
The traffic and new development spurred by a new bridge will increase air
pollution and smog. Northern Virginia's federal highway funding, dependent
upon exceeding air quality standards, is already in jeopardy. We can't afford
to lose precious transportation dollars.
9. Better options for managing American Legion Bridge traffic
exist. Studies have shown that alternative traffic relief measures would
provide give the greatest help to commuters. The Virginia
2020 Transportation Plan reported that alternative solutions to a second crossing
would provide a 6% reduction in American Legion Bridge traffic, significantly
more relief than a second crossing would provide.