Tuesday, February 13, 2007

EIS Comments: Alexandria Orb Un-Considered By Authorities


2/25/00 Yvonne Weight:

It would appear that no consideration was given to the “Alexandria Orb”

configuration of Route 1, although such a design creates the possibility

that significantly more space could be covered and utilized as park or

recreation land; indeed, DOT should be required to show in each and

every EIS how much concrete it could actually cover.

4/14/00 FHWA:

During the planning process, twenty-five configurations were studied for

the U.S. 1 interchange. In addition, opportunities were provided for

individuals to present their proposals during the Coordination

Committee Meetings, work group sessions and other public meetings

and hearings. Based upon the consideration of the Coordination

Committee, not all proposals were determined to be further studied. The

requirements for comparative elements to be included in the EIS are

based on items that encompass community, environmental, traffic, cost

elements and differentiating factors.

5/30/00 Douglas Willinger TPHDS:

a) None of these 25 Route 1 interchange configurations included any

designed to cover any of the ramps; this stands in contrast to the use of

"fly under" ramps used successfully in the Mercer Island I-90 project and


b) Opportunities were of course provided during the public comment

periods allowed at the various Wilson Crossing events; nonetheless, this

does not mean that a proposal's presentation during any of these periods

would receive formal consideration by the Coordination Committee; from

the documentation that I am aware of, this Committee apparently gave

NO formal consideration to the Alexandria Orb proposal, despite the

comparative elements so involved that are enumerated above.

Page 78

Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project

Federal Highway Administration Record of Decision

Attachment 3 - Comments and Responses



(Consideration of the Orb proposal; extension of covered portion of I-495

to the west of the official preliminary plan.)

4/14/00 FHWA:

This aspect of the project, extending the deck to the west

would be considered outside the scope of the project. The access to

Hunting Creek would be unchanged from the access today.

5/30/00 Douglas Willinger TPHDS:

Untrue on both counts. The Orb proposal falls entirely

within the geographic area of the existing proposed project, in fact the

project area includes the interchange to the west of the Route 1

interchange, to say nothing of to the east to include the river crossing and

the two interchanges to its east. By extending the covered area of I-495

to the west as part of the Alexandria Orb proposal, it would entirely

bridge the gap between the Yates Garden neighborhood and the

northern shore of Hunting Creek, with a terrace to so provide this access,

possibly in the manner that access is provided to the Potomac River just

west of the Lincoln Memorial.


2/25/00 Douglas Willinger TPHDS:

The Alexandria Orb/Promenade proposal is a replacement design for that

portion of the project upon land in Alexandria, specifically the area of the abutment, the urban deck and its

western extension . Indeed, the Alexandria Orb/Promenade is a

consolidation of an extended, landscaped highway deck, with a partially

underground spherical replacement design for the Route 1 interchange.

It does not alter the basic design configuration of the bridge itself. As so

conceived and drawn (in AUTOCAD 14), this proposal is fully compatible

with a 12 lane configuration with separate local and express roadways,

with a ramp configuration without conflict with the addition of Metro rail

via left-hand local roadway and right-hand express roadway shoulders,

as well as being adaptable to a broad range of bridge crossing options,

including partial and full tunnel river crossings, as well as those with

differing numbers of lanes.

Page 79

Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project

Federal Highway Administration Record of Decision

Attachment 3 - Comments and Responses


4/14/00 FHWA:

The US 1 interchange was studied extensively during the

planning process, documented in the 1997 FEIS and is not subject to

major reconsideration. The Stakeholder Participation Panel assigned to

refine the US 1 interchange was satisfied with a majority of the

movements, although still had some issues.

5/30/00 Douglas Willinger TPHDS:

This design is not necessarily set in cement, as attested

by the example of the Boston Central Artery/Tunnel's adaptation and

eventual replacement of the "Scheme Z" design configuration for the

approach ramps to the replacement I-93 Charles River Bridge. Popular

disenchantment with the officially chosen "Scheme Z" alternative would

led to its outright abandonment, and its replacement with a new design to

plug into the rest of the Central Artery/Tunnel Project. Official recognition

of this sentiment led to a renewed design effort for this portion of the

project, minimizing any possible delays to the rest of the project. By

adapting and incorporating the Alexandria Orb/Promenade proposal within the project

design, we can take advantage of the time that we have (especially given

the legal delays that are likely to occur over the next 9 months) the

project could essentially proceed without further delays. In any case,

construction will begin upon the bridge (or tunnel, in the event of such a

change in plans), before it begins upon the approaches, thus further

allowing time to adopt the Alexandria Orb proposal, which is confined to

the interchange, the approach and the roadways in the immediate area of

Royal Street.

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