- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 1, 2002

RICHMOND (AP) The state will study an additional Potomac River crossing to alleviate highway gridlock in Northern Virginia, Gov. Mark R. Warner announced on a monthly radio show yesterday.
Mr. Warner said on WTOP 1500 Radio's "Ask the Governor" in Washington that the $400,000 study would consider the construction of a "Techway" bridge as part of an outer beltway that would provide commuters another route for moving between Virginia and Maryland over the Potomac.
With the announcement, Mr. Warner is certain to renew opposition to the project from slow-growth proponents and homeowners and find resistance from Maryland Gov. Parris N. Glendening.
"That's the case with any kind of road proposal in the Washington area. Everybody's in favor of transportation in theory, but when it comes down to alignments, that's where the so-called rubber hits the road. My sense, and I want to see the study first, is that we're going to need another river crossing," Mr. Warner said.
The study comes as Mr. Warner begins campaigning for a referendum in Northern Virginia to increase the state sales tax by a half-cent in the region to fund highway and mass-transit projects.
Last year, U.S. Rep. Frank R. Wolf, a Republican, killed a $2 million federal study of a Potomac crossing that he had championed after complaints from residents in Great Falls and McLean.
The study comes at the urging of U.S. Reps. Thomas M. Davis III, a Republican, and James P. Moran, a Democrat, both of whom represent suburban Washington's teeming, chronically traffic-clogged highways.
"Let's work with Maryland and focus on where this potential route may originate and wind up and go from there," Mr. Warner said.
Mr. Glendening supports expanding the crossing at U.S. 15 in Point of Rocks, Md., but business leaders say it's too far west to be practical for suburban commuters.
Mr. Warner said he had spoken recently with Mr. Glendening, a fellow Democrat, about organizing a meeting that will include D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams to discuss the region's transportation problems.

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