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Fairfax County raises possibility of eminent domain in Route 28 project

Construction crews continue work along Route 28 (photo by David Taube)

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors may make use of its eminent domain powers in order to complete a project to relieve congestion on Route 28.

Construction on the $86.7 million project to widen a section of Route 28 from four lanes to six lanes began last fall, and the county has been working to acquire land rights to four properties needed to complete the expansion.

The properties in question are all located in Centreville.

“Negotiations are in progress with several owners of these properties,” county staff said in the agenda for the Board of Supervisors’ meeting tomorrow (Tuesday). “However, because resolution of these acquisitions is not imminent, it may become necessary for the Board to utilize quick-take eminent domain powers to commence construction of this project on schedule.”

The board will hold a public hearing at 4 p.m. tomorrow on whether to exercise that authority.

The Route 28 widening has been in the works since 2014 with the goal of alleviating increased traffic in Fairfax and Prince William counties south of I-66, according to the project page.

It is occurring along a 2.3-mile stretch of highway from just north of the Route 28 bridge over Bull Run to Upperridge Drive south of the Route 29 interchange in Centreville.

The project also involves constructing pedestrian paths on both sides of the road, intersection improvements, and traffic light reconstruction.

Work is slated to be done in 2023.

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