Skip to main content

I-73 in Virginia clears a legal hurdle

Though it is years away from even construction, Interstate 73 in Virginia - from Roanoke to the NC state line - appears to have cleared a significant legal challenge.

U.S. District Court Judge James Turk has denied Virginians for Appropriate Roads complaint on the environmental studies of the future Interstate. One of their key objections is that the Virginia Department of Transportation prepared an environmental study of the road based on the entire route being built at once, not in various stages/segments that will be done of a lengthy period of time.

Virginians for Appropriate Roads (VAR) argued that not enough of the study was focused on upgrading US 220 to Interstate standards. Upgrading and improving, US 220 was the preferred choice for VAR.

VDOT had argued that when I-73 was created in 1991 legislation. That Congress' intent was to build a new highway as a faster and safer means of transportation in the area. VDOT said that improving and upgrading US 220 would not have the safe impacts as a new alignment for I-73.

Turk's decision said that VDOT had done all the planning and studying required by law on the route, and that they would not have to continue any further in including a study of improvements to US 220.

VAR asked for the judge to reconsider and that motion was also denied.

The judgement now allows VDOT to restart planning for the highway with the Federal Highway Administration. Planning halted in October 2007 when the lawsuit was filed.

Lawyers representing VAR are considering filing an appeal of Turk's rulings with the US 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Story Links:
Group's challenge to I-73 denied ---Myrtle Beach Sun News
Road gets tad more open for I-73 ---Roanoke Times

Comments

Anonymous said…
VAR is idiot. There are many business along US 220 from NC to Roanoke, thus thats why VDOT says it can not be upgraded to interstate standards.. LET them build I-73.

Popular posts from this blog

The Relief Route That Wasn't: The Never Built I-70 Bypass in the Mid-Mon Valley

In June 1963, a small blurb in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette read that The Westmoreland Engineering Company was awarded a $24,060 bid to study the proposed construction of Interstate 70 in Westmoreland and Washington Counties.  The study was to see what the construction and right-of-way costs "...to modernize the existing highway to Interstate requirements within eight months." (1)  This small, non-attributed, three paragraph article came less than a decade after the completion of a four lane highway that linked the Mid-Mon Valley to the Pennsylvania Turnpike. This would be the start of a 15 year process to upgrade and improve Interstate 70 - a process that ultimately never produced a single foot of new highway.

This is the story, albeit brief, of the I-70 that never came about.

Background:
What is now known as Interstate70 from Washington to New Stanton began as a connecting highway for the region to the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  Known as the "Express Highway", construct…

A look at Pittsburgh's Saw Mill Run Boulevard

Saw Mill Run Boulevard - Pennsylvania State Route 51 - runs through the narrow Saw Mill Run Valley.  It begins at the intersection of Clairton Road and Provost Road at the City of Pittsburgh Line with Brentwood.  It ends at the West End Circle at the entrance to the West End Bridge.  A four lane highway for its the entire length, Saw Mill Run Boulevard consists of interchanges at the South Portal of the Liberty Tubes and with the Parkway West.  It is an expressway from the Parkway to the West End Circle (West End Bypass).  One of the most well known traffic tie-ups in the Pittsburgh area occurs between Maytide Street and PA 88 (Library Road) which is simply known as 'Maytide and 88.'

History:
Saw Mill Run Boulevard was part of the 1928 Allegheny County 'City Beautiful' bond issue.  The bonds resulted in the creation of Saw Mill Run, Ohio River, Allegheny River and Mosside Boulevards. (1)   After the completion of the Liberty Tunnels in 1924, Downtown Pittsburgh was offic…

The Many Failed Plans of Pittsburgh's Wabash Bridge and Tunnel

The December 27, 2004 opening of the Wabash Tunnel ended over 70 years of proposals and speculation for the use of the over 100 year old facility.  The tunnel, which is now a reversible roadway that is an alternative route for rush hour traffic, saw many failed plans during the 20th Century.  These plans included options for mass transit, converted and new bridges for vehicles, and other forms of transportation.

Brief History:
Constructed in 1902-04, the Wabash Bridge and Tunnel was planned and financed by rail mogul, Jay Gould.  Gould began his "Battle of the Wabash" with the established railroads of the city in 1890.  He would finally emerge victorious, but during that struggle, Gould would see many setbacks that would eventually result in the railroad's bankruptcy in 1908.  On October 19, 1903, when the two ends of the bridge were to be joined together over the Monongahela River, the 109' bridge collapsed; killing ten men.  Construction would resume four days later …