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Arlington Chamber gives qualified backing to I-66 proposal

© Leesburg Today - 11/03/2015

The Arlington Chamber of Commerce has expressed its ""general support"" for the McAuliffe administration's plan for changes to Interstate 66 inside the Capital Beltway, including backing a proposal that funds collected in tolls be distributed by the Northern Virginia Regional Commission.

""Reducing congestion and further supporting mass-transit options is vital to the Arlington business community and the region,"" the business group said in an Oct. 25 letter to Virginia Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne.

The business organization said it appreciated that state officials want to first determine if there are ways to ease congestion on the highway without resorting to widening. But, it said, the Chamber would support an additional lane between the Dulles Connector Road and Ballston if one is deemed necessary to keep traffic moving.

The general support was not without qualifiers: The Chamber voiced its concern that travelers might opt against using Washington Dulles International Airport if they are forced to pay a toll to get to and from it.

The positive letter might serve to buck up VDOT officials and the McAuliffe administration, who found themselves pummeled -- by Republicans and Democrats -- over portions of the I-66 proposal during the lead-up to the Nov. 3 legislative elections.

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