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VAR's I-73 appeal was dropped due to agreement with FHWA

A few weeks ago, I blogged about the dismissal of an appeal by Virginians for Appropriate Roads in regards to Interstate 73.  The dismissal came before any hearings on the matter took place.

Since then a few more details about the dismissal have come about and the Martinsville Bulletin is all over it.

VAR is more than happy to drop the appeal because in their mind, "...there is no certainty this project will ever move forward."

The key part of the agreement that caused VAR to drop their appeal is "...that if a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement is done for the project, Virginians for Appropriate Roads may raise road improvements and access management alternatives with respect to U.S. 220 in any judicial review challenge that the group might bring..."

Story Link:
Appeal on I-73 case dismissed on settlement decision ---Martinsville Bulletin

Commentary:
What appeared when first reported as a blow to VAR appears to be more of a victory for them.  If any future studies occur for Interstate 73, and there will be, VAR will be able to challenge any of those studies.  VAR's viewpoint is that improvements to US 220 is the best solution for the area as compared to Interstate 73 on a newly built alignment.

VAR has positioned themselves to continue to be a watchdog, and possibly and obstacle, for the completion of Interstate 73 in South Central Virginia.  Time to bring in Lee Corso, VAR just said "Not so fast, my friends."

It is interesting that VAR is consistently speaking of their doubts for any part of Interstate 73 to be built.  Though I disagree with them and support an Interstate 73 being built in Virginia, I do agree that it will be a long time if ever before we see any dirt being moved for Interstate 73 south of Roanoke.

Comments

Ron said…
I was wondering what happened to the final steps to begin I-73 across Virginia but I must agree that a new alignment was not what the plans called for. Most of the origonal idea was the reasoning for the bypasses (US 220) at Rocky Mount and (?). This was Virginia's crazy idea anyway. They don't need to confuse the NCDOT no more than necessary.

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