Sunday, September 07, 2003

Nothing like an open, inclusive process

The Washington Post has this story which says that Virginia is accepting $1 million to study the issue of adding a third west-bound lane to Interstate 66 in Arlington County. The government of Arlington County is firmly against the project.

Governor Warner wrote that "An open, inclusive process that involves citizens and businesses from Arlington and Fairfax . . . is the only way to implement a realistic, affordable and effective transportation solution in this corridor."

Meanwhile, Mike Still has this excellent article that says, among other things, that local governments have 60 days to get their say in on the Interstate 81 proposals, while the two contractors are making some pretty substantial adjustments to their numbers. Still writes that "STAR has reduced its estimated cost from $7.54 billion to $6.3 billion, while Fluor now acknowledges its plan will cost about $5.9 billion," and that STAR says 15 years, Fluor says 8 years (up from 6).

The articles by Mike Still are pretty worthwhile, because this project is so huge and its disruptive effect will be so great. The challenge of government will be to reach a worthwhile compromise of the competing elements of the public interest - to make a lasting and worthwhile improvement in the roads, without paying too much, and without torturing the people who live and work where the improved roads are located.

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