- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 16, 2001

Federal Highway Administration officials studying the possibility of a new Potomac River crossing north of the American Legion Bridge said they want to set the record straight because what they are doing has been misconstrued.
"There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding about whats going on," said Lori Irving, a highway administration spokeswoman.
To ensure that everybody is on the same page, the highway administration has been holding public meetings with businesses and civic groups, and today will brief the media at a news conference.
"People seem to think we are going to be making a decision" when the study is completed in December, Miss Irving said. "But we are clarifying that that is not what we are going to do."
Last year, U.S. Rep. Frank R. Wolf, Virginia Republican, ordered the administration to do the $2 million study, with specific instructions to look at how best to connect the high-tech area of Herndon-Reston in Fairfax County with the biotechnology area in Gaithersburg-Rockville in Montgomery County.
The Wolf study examining the connection known as the "Techway Bridge" has both supporters and opponents, each with their own spin — often inaccurate — on what the study is actually supposed to do.
"They are looking at a list of options," Miss Irving said. But according to Mr. Wolf and the bill as written, the study is designed to look at the best way a fourth span could be built between Virginia and Maryland so the high-growth areas of Fairfax and Montgomery counties can be served.
But Montgomery County officials and Gov. Parris N. Glendening, a Democrat, have repeatedly said they would reject any sort of proposal that places a bridge on its agricultural preserve. Both state and local officials in Maryland have said they think the bridge should be placed between Point of Rocks in Frederick County and U.S. 15 in Loudoun County, part of Mr. Wolfs district.
But Mr. Wolf and supporters of the Techway Bridge say the Point of Rocks location doesnt make sense because its a 39-mile drive from the Gaithersburg-Rockville area.
"This study… is to look at connecting the two population centers," Mr. Wolf said last November. "Thats where the jobs are. Thats where the people are."


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