Adverse Impact Analysis for the ‘New Road’ Alternative Route (12.2 miles)

HISTORICAL: The New Road Alternative Route is in conflict with over 35 documented historic places containing 3 National Registered Historic Sites, 5 state and county registered sites, numerous Civil War plats/graves/trails, The Daughters of the Confederacy Chapel, multiple slave community areas including 2 churches; 4 known slave grave sites, passage of the Underground Railroad, and the National Heritage Area Act for the scenic byway defined by the 2014 “The Journey Through Hallowed Ground” management plan. Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 “… requires that … permitted projects consider its effects on properties that are listed or are eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.” Additionally, “Serve Our Willing Warriors,” a planned retreat for tens of thousands of our nation’s veterans is located directly in the path of this route, along with Camp Snyder, a camp for the Boy Scouts of America.

Historic Sites listed in order moving south from New Road:

  • Old Carolina Road (aka Rte. 15; Rogue’s Rd.; Loudoun Dr.) 1700s-current JTHG ACT
  • Enfield Estate (Revolutionary & War of 1812; Civil War; 2 mill sites)
  • Taylor’s House Mill (Historic Registry processing; mill site)
  • Bunker Hill (slave grave yard; Civil War)
  • Dumblane/Edge Hill (Civil War, Grave Site)
  • Ewell’s Estate
  • Ewell’s Chapel 1864 (Civil War Skirmish; Historic)
  • Edge Hill
  • Waterloo
  • Locust Bottom (National Register of Historic Places)
  • Hickory Grove (Hundred Oaks)
  • Evergreen Estate (Manor House; Civil War; National Register of Historic Places)
  • Foley’s Woods
  • Mill Creek
  • Mt. Atlas (National Register of Historic Places)
  • Oak Shade (Shirley’s School)
  • Waterfall Park
  • Olive Branch Church and Graveyard (Virginia Slavery Inventory)
  • Allen House
  • Bull Run Chapel (Daughters of the Confederacy)
  • Brown’s (Dean’s) Mill
  • Foley’s Mill
  • P.O. & Foley’s (G.A. Gossem’s) Store
  • Pickett’s (Sinclair’s) Mill
  • Antioch Church and Graveyard (Historical Marker Database, Civil War)
  • D. Murray’s Store
  • Murray’s Shop
  • La Grange (Prince William County’s First Vineyard)
  • Howell’s Saw Mill
  • Oakrum Church (Virginia Slavery Inventory)
  • Moore’s Store
  • P.O. & Howells Store
  • Railroad Station
  • Thoroughfare/Carters Switch (community founded by former slaves)
  • African American Heritage Sites (The Underground Railroad)

LEGISLATIVE: The New Road Alternative route is the longest of any alternative and does not use any existing Right-of-Way. Instead, it requires acquisition of more than 12 miles of new ROW easements through an area outside of the “Designated Corridors or Routes for Electric Transmission Lines of 150 Kilovolts or More” delineated in the Prince William County Long Range Plan. Running a double 230kv through the Rural Crescent where it will serve NO development is in complete contradiction with Prince William County’s long-term goals to preserve open space.  The Rural Crescent was never intended to serve as a massive transmission line route.  

ENVIRONMENTAL: The 12.2 span of the New Road Alternative route would destroy over 177 acres – or nearly 8,000,000 square feet – and is in direct conflict with the Prince William County Land Use Plan for the Rural Crescent. It will encroach on Resource Protection Areas (RPAs) and wetlands designated by both the Chesapeake Bay Protection Act and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Specifically, this route would cross at least 10 RPAs at nearly 2,200,000 square feet and over 50 acres of RPA destroyed. Countless species of animals, including the protected American Bald Eagle, call this area home. Chemicals and herbicides used beneath such high-voltage power lines have been proven to cause Colony Collapse Disorder in honey bees, not to mention permanent contamination to drinking water, soil, streams, ponds, and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay. (The 5.8 mile I-66 Hybrid Route, proposed by Dominion Power and the only acceptable route to the Coalition, crosses zero RPAs).

FINANCIAL: The primary impact of Dominion’s proposed above-ground lines will be to property owners who (a) have property seized for right-of-way and (b) have directly adjacent property impaired, totaling tens of millions of dollars. The negative impact to property values ranges from $10 – $12MM in direct impact, and local real estate appraisers believe the impact could be upwards of $40MM. The hundreds of properties directly impaired will have an impact on several thousand properties when it comes time to sell, to refinance, or to seek a home equity loan. Secondary impacts of Dominion’s proposed above-ground lines will be to businesses (for example, La Grange Winery, Evergreen Country Club, Bull Run Golf Club), non-profits (Wounded Warrior, Camp Snyder), and farms operating near the line who depend in part or in whole on customer or donor revenue. Other impacts of Dominion’s proposed above-ground lines will be to parties with interests in the properties, including homeowners in the surrounding area whose values depend on general conditions, county tax authorities, and holders of mortgages. Hundreds of millions of dollars in residential property value and associated tax revenue are at-risk.