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WASHINGTON, DC-A $2 million line item to fund a study on a Techway bridging Virginia and Maryland northwest of the capital has underscored differences between Maryland officials and environmentalists who oppose another river crossing and Northern Virginia officials and businesses who support it. Rep. Frank Wolf inserted the funding in the $58 billion Federal transportation bill to study an idea to build a road from Interstate 270 in Gaithersburg, MD, to the Dulles Toll Road.

The road is heavily supported by the Northern Virginia Technology Council, which announced the plan last year. They say the American Legion Bridge on the Interstate 495 Capital Beltway is too clogged and a second river crossing to the northwest is needed.

Environmentalists argue, however, that building new roads and bridges will only temporarily ease traffic problems before filling to capacity again. In the end, they argue, it will sacrifice open space and existing neighborhoods, encourage more vehicle emissions and divert money from mass transit without creating a long-lasting solution to traffic congestion.

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