The Loudoun County Preservation and Conservation Coalition has sent to the Virginia Department of Transportation the following letter concerning the historic bridge on Featherbed Lane.
May 20, 2015
Mr. Raymond Ezell, RPA
Virginia Department of Transportation
87 Dearcon Road
Fredericksburg, VA 22405
Project State: 0673-053-6051 UPC: 105898; The John G. Lewis Bridge on Featherbed Lane (Rt 673); Bridge Structure No. 6051; Loudoun County
Dear Mr. Ezell:
As a consulting party on this project, I am writing on behalf of the Executive Committee of the Loudoun County Preservation and Conservation Coalition. We are an informal organization of 27 non-profit groups which are concerned with the heritage and environment of Loudoun County.
We very much appreciate VDOT’s preparatory work and presentation at the March 26, 2015 public meeting at the Old Waterford School. As you probably noted from the attendance at the meeting and the subsequent written remarks you have received we take the future of the bridge seriously.
We hope that VDOT recognizes and shares with us the major historic significance of the bridge and the importance of its place on the State and National Register. The bridge itself is located on part of the unique and historic network of unpaved rural roads which the Rural Roads Committee of our Coalition is working with another part of VDOT to ensure its quality maintenance and repair as part of the unique and historic network of unpaved rural roads in Loudoun. The bridge is also an important contributor to the local region’s historic significance which, in turn, supports an active tourist economy.
Therefore, we recommend a continuing dialogue between VDOT and the Loudoun community which will stress three importance objectives which have wide spread local support:
- That whatever solution is agreed upon it preserves the status of the bridge on the National Register.
- The bridge remain one lane without a major reconfiguration of the approach road.
- To the maximum extent possible the structure retain its historic integrity and configuration.
Following these objectives results in elimination of Options previously considered which widen the bridge, replace the bridge, or parallel the historic bridge with a new one. We hope VDOT will respond by seeking new or modified options which can be presented for discussion at a new public meeting.
We look forward to continue to work cooperatively with VDOT as we seek a mutually acceptable basis for returning the John G. Lewis Bridge to safe use for vehicle traffic.
Alfred P. Van Huyck, Chair, Emily Southgate, Vice Chair Environment; Bob Shuey, Vice Chair Heritage, Gem Bingol, and Ed Gorski
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