Virginia Route 28 to be widened, lawsuit may stop project

CHANTILLY, Va. (WJLA) -- Like practically everywhere else in the metro region, Nokesville, Virginia has gotten bigger. It’s grown so rapidly in the past decade that capacity on the highway has become overwhelming.

That highway is Route 28, the main road to Nokesville and to Carini’s restaurant, where Amanda Taylor is a manager.

“It can back up real quick,” she said.

The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) is now planning to widen the highway with money from the new state transportation bill, which will aim to put a stop to some of the bottlenecking and tailgating.

But Republican delegate Bob Marshall of Manassas doesn’t think 28 needs to be widened, and doesn’t think a lot of the projects that the NVTA has selected are worth the cost.

“The law requires proof, evidence, that you're going to reduce congestion the most," he said.

And based on that statute, Marshall is suing NVTA in the Fairfax County Circuit Court. He claims the NVTA has shown no evidence that many of the 34 projects it has selected – train station and trail improvements included – are worthy of using public bonds to fund.

"Speculation will abound they're doing this for the most venal and wrong reasons that don't benefit the public good; that's unfortunate because there's enough public mistrust in government already,” he said.

But others believe modifications to the 28 highway will be good for business and bring even more people out to Nokesville. Back at Carini’s, Taylor hopes the suit doesn’t stop the expansion of Route 28. On the potential influx of new customers, she says: “We do pretty well as it is, but it’s always nice to do better.”