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Supervisors vote to begin changing Jefferson Davis Highway to ‘Richmond Highway’

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Jefferson Davis Highway in Woodbridge

The Prince William Board of County Supervisors voted unanimously early Wednesday morning to begin the process of renaming U.S. 1 in Prince William County from Jefferson Davis Highway to “Richmond Highway.”  

The board voted 7-0 at around 2 a.m. to rename the road. Supervisor Pete Candland, R-Gainesville, was absent from the vote.

The decision came after a marathon meeting that began at 2 p.m. and included debate and decisions about the Va. 28 bypass and a controversial proposal to build a new asphalt plant near a Manassas elementary school. 

In Prince William County, Jefferson Davis Highway runs through three magisterial districts and the town of Dumfries. The 12-mile stretch of roadway through the county includes approximately 1,000 addresses.  

County staff said the name change is projected to cost between $1.2 million and $5 million. The expense is due to the need to replace existing signage, update building fire panels and other efforts to mitigate impacts to businesses on the U.S. 1 corridor. If everything goes to plan, the project will likely wrap up in the summer of 2022, county staff said.  

The name-change will be part of the fiscal year 2022 budget, according to County Executive Chris Martino.  

Supervisor Margaret Franklin, D-Woodbridge, brought the motion forward. Franklin said she pursued the name change because Jefferson Davis was the president of the Confederacy and because Jefferson Davis Highway “is a major highway in minority communities.” 

The supervisors’ request will now head to the Commonwealth Transportation Board in November. If approved, Prince William County will join the City of Alexandria and Arlington County in renaming the highway.  

Arlington and Alexandria renamed Jefferson Davis Highway in their jurisdictions in 2019. Fairfax County has historically called U.S. 1 “Richmond Highway” and did not have to undergo a renaming process. 

The supervisors last considered renaming Jefferson Davis Highway in 2017. During that attempt, brought forward by Franklin’s predecessor, former Woodbridge supervisor Frank Principi, the motion failed to get a second on the then-Republican majority board

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(6) comments


Who cares? If Democrats spent 1/10th of their time to solving real problems instead of spending money in an attempt to purge history we might actually get somewhere. In the meantime, why doesn't the county spend money renaming roads that cause confusion. For example, Prince William County Road: Take 95 to Old Bridge Road, then take a left to Liberia, then take a left to 234, and then take a right to I66? Somewhat if there is some history behind how the road was formed. If we can change the name of one road, why not other roads to something that makes sense?


Wasn't he a Democrat??


Then you’ve got no issues with Dems deciding that those in the area want it changed? That’s great to know. 👍🏼


hahahahahhahaha always jeff davis hwy whos going to pay to change it


This puts the naming more in line with the geographic theme of other portions of U.S. 1 such as Baltimore Pike and Boston Post Road.



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