Grassroots Group Raises Environmental Objections To Virginia Express Lanes Construction

WUSA reports, Virginia DOT is trying to arrange a meeting with residents aggrieved by construction activity for the the I-495 Northern Extension (495 NEXT) project, a VDOT and Transurban P3 that will add two express lanes in each direction along a 2.5-mile segment of the DC beltway. A grassroots group claims contractors have cut down hundreds of mature trees near the George Washington Memorial Parkway exit, leaving the area looking like a strip mine site. They also object to what they consider the intrusive design of ramps that will be built in the cleared area. “The neighbors are appealing to state politicians for help. But they have also hired an engineer and are considering suing VDOT.” The department says it has no plans to pause construction.