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Pending Governor Northam’s signature, Arlington officials will have the power to rename Lee Highway (US Route 29) as they see fit within county boundaries.
In a nearly but not quite online vote, the state Senate voted 22-17 in favor of the measure giving Arlington power over the highway name. All Democrats and Senator William Stanley (R-Glade Hill) voted to support him.
Arlington leaders oppose the name because of its connection to Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
The bill, sponsored by Del. Rip Sullivan (D-McLean-Arlington), was passed earlier by the House of Delegates on a vote of largely 58 to 41. It applies exclusively to Arlington, and not to any other jurisdiction.
Under state law, only the General Assembly or the Commonwealth Transportation Board has the authority to change the names of most major highways. Several years ago, the Commonwealth Transportation Board acceded to a request from the Arlington government to change the name from Jefferson Davis Highway (US Route 1) to Richmond Highway within the borders of Arlington.
The Arlington section of US Route 29 runs approximately 5 miles from Rosslyn to East Falls Church before continuing west and south to Danville, a total of 248 miles in Virginia from the Key Bridge. ..
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