Victory at Cedar Creek as VDOT announces shift in bridge location

road-work-headerThe Virginia Department of Transportation has announced that it will alter the proposed alignment of the Route 11 replacement bridge at Cedar Creek battlefield.

The alignment VDOT previously preferred would have paved over Civil War battlefield land at Cedar Creek, impacted the gateway to the Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park, and run through an area listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks Register.

The revised plan will follow the alignment of the existing northbound lanes of Route 11, thus meeting the transportation needs for this project without destroying any core battlefield land. The Southern Environmental Law Center and the Shenandoah Valley Battlefield Foundation have worked with the McAuliffe Administration on this proposal on behalf of a coalition of concerned organizations.

 

A statement from Trip Pollard, Director of the Southern Environmental Law Center’s Land and Community Program

“The state’s decision to reroute this project is a major victory for all Virginians, as well as the local communities. The revised alignment will advance the priority that the Governor, the General Assembly, and the public have placed on battlefield protection, protect this nationally-significant battlefield land, allow a larger battlefield area owned by VDOT to be reconnected with adjacent open space, and create possibilities for greater tourism and recreation opportunities.”

“This decision is good for historic preservation, good for the economy, good for the environment, and good for the community. We applaud Governor Terry McAuliffe, Secretary of Natural Resources Molly Ward and Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne for their leadership in pursuing a solution that better links transportation, historic preservation, and conservation goals.”

 

A statement from John Hutchinson, Conservation Director, Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation

“The Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation is most grateful to the McAuliffe Administration for this far-sighted decision.  The Cedar Creek battlefield is one of Virginia and the nation’s most significant Civil War fields of battle. The Civil War Sites Advisory Commission (CWSAC) examined over 10,000 engagements, and Cedar Creek was one of only 11 sites nationally given the commission’s highest preservation priority (I.1 Class A) because of its importance, integrity, and threats to that integrity.”

“The bridge realignment is of particular significance because Route 11 (Old Valley Pike) crosses Cedar Creek Battlefield and Belle Grove National Historic Landmark which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks Register in addition to the battlefield and National Park.  The McAuliffe Administration’s decision protects core battlefield, as well as the adjacent road traces of the Old Valley Turnpike and the adjacent Daniel Stickley Farm and Mills.”

 

         
 

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