Army Corps Wants to See Bypass Alternatives

The Army Corps of Engineers needs to be convinced that there aren’t better ideas than the Western Bypass, Sean Tubbs reports for Charlottesville Tomorrow. The news organization learned about this by a FOIA request. The road will impact about three acres of wetland and seven thousand feet of stream frontage, and the Corps’ job is to make sure that this causes as little harm as possible, which means providing a permit only for the solution to the transportation problem at hand that has the least impact on those resources. Although some studies along these lines have been performed, they were done two decades ago, and are quite possibly no longer meaningful. The Corps wants to know why they decided not to use grade-separated interchanges, and what parts of the Places29 project are actually going to happen. VDOT’s rushed approval process provided no time to deal with concerns like these, requiring that they be handled as they’re raised, rather than anticipating them. It’s possible that VDOT will conduct another study, although it’s also possible that they’ll persuade the Corps that it’s not necessary.

3 thoughts on “Army Corps Wants to See Bypass Alternatives”

  1. Off-topic: why does everyone always make a point of saying “this was obtained through a FOIA request” ? Why does a reader care or need to know?

  2. “Why does a reader care or need to know?”

    It’s somewhat helpful To me, since it signals the transparency of the process. It means the agency did not actively work to make this information public, except when required to legally.

  3. I make sure to mention it whenever applicable, and I do it for a couple of reasons. The first is to demonstrate that this wasn’t a case of just rewriting a press release—Charlottesville Tomorrow was actively seeking out information, actually practicing journalism, and they deserve credit for that. The second is to remind people that they can just ask government for information, and government is obliged to provide that. I’m a fan of FOI laws, and I like to call up when they’re being used. :)

    Why others often point it out, I can only speculate.

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