I finally figured out what has bothered me all along about the “Bridgewater Bypass” idea that seems to be moving toward construction. It is not a bypass. Here is the definition I found online for bypass: “a road passing around a town or its center to provide an alternative route for through traffic.” Through traffic in Bridgewater is on Va. 42. A true bypass would branch away from 42 south of town, go out through the country, and rejoin 42 north of town. (That’s probably infeasible.)
In medicine, if you have a coronary bypass, it goes around the blockage and rejoins the same artery.
None of this says the Bridgewater project is good or bad, just that the proposed road is not actually a bypass.