FREDERICK, Md. (AP) — Maryland’s transportation department is throwing cold water on the prospect of a new Potomac River Bridge between Montgomery County and northern Virginia.

The Frederick News-Post reported Saturday that an agency spokesman says such a project could infringe on agricultural preservation efforts in Montgomery County.

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Spokesman Jack Cahalan says the state’s commitment to environmental protection and smart growth are other impediments to the project.

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Cahalan says officials of the two states discussed the topic last month at a meeting initiated by Virginia’s transportation
department.

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Proponents say a new bridge could divert traffic from the Capital Beltway and allow drivers to bypass Washington.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)