Rising traffic congestion and delays are making even roadway and bridge studies a source of political tension. The latest row involves the Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC), Representative Frank Wolf (R-VA) and the U.S. Dept. of Transportation.
At issue is a study commissioned to look at the feasibility of adding another highway bridge across the Potomac River, linking the major “high-tech” business locales in Maryland and Virginia. The study, launched by the DOT, was abruptly cancelled by Wolf in May.
The NVTC, however, has not taken the cancellation lying down. As the association for technology companies in Northern Virginia, the group has 1,817 member companies representing over 190,000 employees. It has filed fifteen requests under the Freedom of Information Act for records and correspondence between Wolf and the DOT related to the study of the “Techway Bridge” proposed to connect the technology centers of suburban Maryland and Northern Virginia.
“Wolf's decision to pull the study on a second Potomac River crossing was most unfortunate,” said NVTC President Bobbie Kilberg. "The DOT study would have provided us with the facts to determine whether the construction of the Techway Bridge would help alleviate the transportation grid we face on a daily basis.”
Kilberg added that the citizens in this region have the right to know all the facts surrounding Wolf’s decision to cancel this study and to see the preliminary data that was gathered and paid for with taxpayer’s money.
In addition, the NVTC is requesting records related to the expenditure of appropriated funds of the Techway Bridge study, including how much was spent, who received such expenditures, how much was received by each person and what was received in return for each of these expenditures.