BLUE RIDGE ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE LEAGUE www.bredl.org
Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League
BREDL Chapter Spotlight


Virginians for Appropriate Roads
Roanoke & Franklin counties, VA


Virginians for Appropriate Roads was formed in 1999 to organize local opposition to a new terrain interstate. Many of VAR's members have been involved in the I-73 fight since 1994 or earlier. VAR has been successful in networking with the national group Friends of the Earth (FOE), which assisted in a newspaper ad during the public hearings on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement in December 2000. FOE has also helped with the publication of a color brochure. During the 2000 public hearings, "Improve 220" received the largest number of favorable comments given for any I-73 option. According to VDOT records, 3,614 comments favored improving U.S. 220. The "Central Option" received 1,082 comments. "East", the option chosen for construction, received only 302 favorable comments. In addition, VAR has been successful in obtaining historic resource eligibility for portions of SE Roanoke. VDOT and FHWA made several attempts to have that eligibility thrown out. However, the status for SE Roanoke remained intact and in March 2004, VDOT announced a new route avoiding SE Roanoke. VAR continues its efforts promoting an upgrade of U.S. 220 with no new terrain construction. The current alternative would plow through the Old Order German Baptist community in Franklin County. It would also have severe impacts to critical habitat of the endangered Roanoke logperch. VAR and BREDL will continue efforts to save these areas.

Contact information:
Ann Rogers
Virginians For Appropriate Roads 
P.O. Box 5272 
Roanoke, VA 24012 


Download VAR April 2007 newsletter (.pdf)

Download VAR May 2004 newsletter (.pdf)

Additional information about I-73 can be found on the bredl website at: http://www.bredl.org/transportation/I-73.htm

VDOT May 7, 2004 Press Release announcing public meetings and I-73 route change because of VAR's citizen financed study which led to SE Roanoke being eligible for historic district status



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posted online May 13, 2004, updated April 13, 2007