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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Public comments sought on beltway landscaping

The beltway exit at Gallows Road
The public is invited to submit comments on the Virginia Department of Transportation’s landscaping plan for the “express lanes corridor,” which extends for 14 miles from the Springfield interchange to the Dulles Toll Road.

The $1.4 billion beltway project is expected to be completed by the end of 2012. Drivers who use the express lanes will pay tolls, with the amount determined by traffic conditions. Vehicles with three or more people can use the express lanes without charge.

The $5 million landscaping plan calls for native trees, shrubs, and grasses to be planted in the VDOT right-of-way.

Twenty-one types of trees would be planted, including sycamore, shadblow serviceberry, eastern redbud, sassafras, pignut hickory, swamp white oak, and black gum. There would be 17 species of shrubs and grass, including leatherleaf viburnum, feather reed grass, sea green juniper, dwarf fothergilla, and bayberry. 

Comments on the landscaping plan should be submitted by June 22 via email, or via regular mail to: Larry O. Cloyed, VDOT Senior Project Manager, 6363 Walker Lane, Suite 500, Alexandria VA 22310.

The final landscaping plan will be issued later this year, and planting will start next spring.

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