Virginia county votes to remove Lee, Jackson highway names

FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) — Fairfax County’s Board of Supervisors has voted to change the name of two major highways recognizing Confederate generals.

The 9-1 vote Tuesday would change the name of Lee Highway in the county to Route 29 and Lee-Jackson Memorial Highway to Route 50.

The route numbers have already been linked to the highways for many years.

The board’s lone Republican, Pat Herrity, was the sole vote against the change.

A county task force recommended the changes, even though a majority of people in an unscientific survey conducted by the task force supported keeping the names in place. The survey received more than 30,000 responses.

The county estimates the cost of the name change at $2.9 million, including $1.5 million for affected property owners to deal with the cost of renaming.

The county’s vote is not the final word; the proposal now goes to the state’s Commonwealth Transportation Board for consideration.

A survey found that dozens of Fairfax County streets are named for Confederate leaders. While the county moved forward with plans to change the highway names, it has left it up to local residents to petition for renaming side streets if they so choose.

The Lee and Jackson names recognize Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.

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