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SunGazette: Legislators Defend HOT-Lanes Lawsuit, Press for Dialogue Print
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By  SCOTT McCAFFREY, Staff Writer

© Created: Friday, October 1, 2010 5:51 AM EDT

Three members of the Arlington legislative delegation are urging top leaders in Richmond to work with county leaders in an effort to resolve disputes over high-occupancy-toll (HOT) lanes along Interstates 95 and 395 into Arlington.

Their letter was sent to House Speaker William Howell (R-Fredericksburg) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Colgan (D-Manassas), in a response to a letter the two had sent to County Board members, ripping the county’s lawsuit against the HOT-lanes project.

“We are confident that the [County] Board is not pursuing litigation for its own sake, but rather seeks to ensure . . . that the county’s legitimate environmental-impact concerns are adequately addressed,” said the letter to Howell and Colgan, which was signed by state Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple (D-31st) and Dels. Patrick Hope (D-47th) and Bob Brink (D-48th).

Their letter did not address the two primary concerns raised by Howell and Colgan: That the County Board improperly injected race into the lawsuit, and that the litigation harms Virginia’s ability to attract and retain businesses.

But it urged state leaders to come to the table with Arlington officials in an effort to end the lawsuit.