Welcome to FIVE FOR FRIDAY: A weekly roundup of Public Policy Issues and Headlines from around the Northern Virginia Region, the Commonwealth and on Capitol Hill.
1. Hogan’s plan for Beltway and I-270 toll lanes wins key federal approval
Federal authorities issued their final environmental approval Thursday for Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s project to widen parts of the Beltway and Interstate 270, delivering a major milestone for an infrastructure project estimated to cost about $5 billion. The step is a requirement for the project to receive federal funds, and it opens the way for Maryland to sign a 50-year contract to build and manage toll lanes along the congested highways. It also begins a five-month clock for opponents of the project to file legal challenges. . . . Supporters hailed Thursday’s step forward for the project, which will also involve replacing the American Legion Bridge, upgrading a notorious connection between Maryland and Virginia.
2. Plan Now for Fall Metrorail Closures Affecting Alexandria and Surrounding Area
The City of Alexandria encourages residents and visitors to begin planning for Metrorail work affecting Blue and Yellow Line service in Alexandria this fall. The City is working with Metro to mitigate disruption to transit users and offer a variety of trip planning resources and transportation alternatives, including free shuttle service, to help customers get around.
3. Elected leaders press housing, transit, education at regional forum
Northern Virginia needs to build more affordable housing, promote teleworking, support the Metrorail system (despite its ongoing woes) and ensure better education funding, top officials from five area jurisdictions said Aug. 25 at the seventh annual Northern Virginia Elected Leaders Summit.
4. City’s Federal Rating Secures Flood Insurance Policy Discount for Residents
The City of Alexandria’s flood mitigation efforts received a Class 6 rating from the National Flood Insurance Community Rating System (CRS), securing a discount on flood insurance policies for City residents. The rating, which is valid for five years, entitles property owners in designated Special Flood Hazard Areas of Alexandria to receive up to a 20% discount on flood insurance policies. The rating is based on a variety of flood mitigation efforts conducted by the City.
5. City of Alexandria to Host Energy and Climate Action Plan Community Workshop
The City of Alexandria will host an in-person Energy and Climate Change Action Plan community workshop on Saturday, August 27, from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. at the Oswald Durant Center at 1605 Cameron St., Alexandria, Virginia, 22314. This will be the third community workshop focused on the update to the Energy and Climate Change Action Plan. Everyone is invited to attend and participate. During the event, participants will learn how climate change impacts our community. The community workshop will provide an opportunity to provide feedback on new and ongoing actions to help reduce climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions from buildings, transportation, the electrical grid, and other sources. The community workshop will also provide an opportunity to comment on actions the City may take to help reduce the impacts from climate change. These impacts include rising temperatures and extreme heat, increased rain and other precipitation, as well as changing sea levels.