Mullen Elementary Parents Fight Asphalt Plant

MANASSAS, VA – Citizens, including residents of Kessler Ridge, Chatsworth Village, Rebel Walk, Sentry Ridge, Winchester at Bull Run, Bull Run Condos, Stonebridge, Point at Manassas, and the new Blackburn communities in Manassas, are fighting to convince the Prince William County Board of Supervisors (PWC BOS) to vote No to Special Use Permit (SUP) 2019-0026. This permit was requested by Allen Myers Paving to build a second asphalt plant on Bethlehem Road in Manassas.
In August, residents gave tours to three members of the PWC BOS, Sup. Franklin, Sup. Angry, and Chair Wheeler, to convince them to vote against the special use permit. (Residents already have the support of Supervisors Candland, Lawson, Boddye, and Vega. Supervisor Bailey was invited but no response was received.)
The tour included a socially distanced “meet and greet” with residents and then a caravan-style drive through impacted communities around the proposed site, a now defunct concrete pipe manufacturing plant zoned for heavy industry. The route included the Kessler Ridge community, passed sign-toting students at Mullen Elementary on Rodes Drive, down Chatsworth Drive, over to Bethlehem Road behind these locations, stopped at historic Dean Divers Christian Church, proceeded to the intersection at Balls Ford Road, down Ashton Avenue to Coverstone Drive, and concluded in the new Blackburn development. Residents spoke throughout the tour on a conference line and stood along the tour route, holding signs welcoming supervisors and asking them to vote No to SUP 2019-0026.
Statements from residents along the tour included details of worsening health conditions, concerns about the increased pollution, noise pollution, and asphalt truck traffic. “We appreciated the supervisors’ willingness to see the area that a second toxic asphalt plant would impact,” said Mike Coffey, resident of Kessler Ridge and HOA Board Member of Bull Run Parcel I (Kessler Ridge). “It’s unacceptable to build a second asphalt plant so near a school and put children and communities at risk when the municipal code offers so many other options for the site.”

  • Specific concerns include:
    • The amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), odors, and dust would double because this proposed plant would be built next to the existing Branscome Asphalt plant.
    • The potential for health and safety risks would increase as this plant would be built 1200-1450 feet from Mullen Elementary School, which serves 800 children. In addition, health problems, such as asthma and allergies, could be exacerbated for community members.
    • Allan Myers Paving will run asphalt trucks twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. This will increase noise for residents along Bethlehem Road; increase traffic congestion on Bethlehem Road, Coverstone Drive, and Balls Ford Road that feed into Business 234 and I-66; and increase the potential for accidents on these roads.
    • According to the Municipal Code, other options are available for this area including data farms and retail. A second asphalt plant is the least desirable option.
    Some communities are already enduring the effects of the existing asphalt plant in the form of odors, dust clouds, and black dust covering the outside of their homes. In addition, some homes in the new Blackburn community have yards and decks that abut Bethlehem Road, putting them in direct contact with the proposed, constant stream of dump trucks.

Residents fear that it is not a question of if, but when, a tragic accident between residents and these dump trucks will occur. A new resident of the Blackburn community, Gerard Cura believes “At the end of the day, our homes are supposed to be our safe space and this proposed plant will take that away from us.”
At the July 21 meeting, the PWC BOCS vote on this SUP ended in a 4-4 tie. The next vote is expected at the board meeting September 8.
All county residents who are opposed to a second asphalt plant on Bethlehem Road are encouraged to join the Citizens Against Bethlehem Road Asphalt Plant Facebook group and sign the online petition:

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