Thursday, September 3, 2009

Battlefield Parkway Opens Today with Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

From the Leesburg Today newspaper comes the exciting news on the opening today of the Battlefield Parkway.

"After 20 months of construction, and years of frustrations voiced by Leesburg's southern quadrant residents, the new Battlefield Parkway link connecting Kincaid Boulevard and Rt. 7 has opened.

"The dozens of community members that joined this morning's ceremony marking the road's official opening may have outnumbered politicians and staff from VDOT and the Town of Leesburg. Residents, including of the four-legged variety, jogged, biked, walked or drove to get to Battlefield Parkway's newest segment, one many hope will alleviate some of the congestion getting to the bypass and parts of Sycolin Road.

"In addition to its better access to southern Leesburg, the four-lane road also boasts a 10-foot wide bicycle and pedestrian path that connects to paths along Kincaid Boulevard and the future Russell Branch Parkway. The road also provides room on its shoulder for that future road extension.

"The opening of the new Battlefield link will also mean the closure tomorrow of the crossing at Lawson Road over Tuscarora Creek. Once that road closes, it will only provide access for pedestrians and cyclists."

The new road link officially opened to the public this afternoon.

Meanwhile, Hank Silverberg with WTOP Radio quotes Virginia Transportation Secretary Pierce Homer as saying that this project could be the last of its kind for a while. "We could not do that today, we could not tomorrow, we could not do it next month," says Homer. "And there's a very simple reason, we are out of transportation money."

WTOP adds that many local leaders say that "without an attitude change in Richmond, more highway projects won't get built, and traffic will only get worse."

The new stretch of highway was built in 19 months, but the $35 million project was financed with 21 different sources, including state, local, federal governments and private sources.

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