Fairfax Supervisors OK $100M Transportation Bond Referendum

Traffic on Wiehle Avenue/Credit: Reston 2020The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday  authorized a $100 million transportation bond referendum for this fall.

This means the county can petition the Circuit Court to order the referendum. It will be on the Nov. 4 general election ballot if so ordered.  Fairfax County voters will be asked to vote “yes” or “no” on the proposed bond that will improve roads, sidewalks, bike lanes, and trails.

If approved by voters, the money will be spent as follows:

  • Spot road improvements to increase roadway capacity, reduce congestion, improve safety, and improve transit access ($16 million)
  • Pedestrian improvements to improve capacity, enhance safety and complete missing pedestrian links that connect neighborhoods, and improve access to schools, Metrorail stations and activity centers ($77.5 million)
  • Bicycle improvements that include developing new bicycle facilities, constructing trails, adding bicycle parking and enhancing accessibility ($6.5 million)

Several Reston projects are high on the priority list for the county, but funding has not yet been secured. Those include:

  • Dulles Toll Road /South Lakes Drive Overpass — $82 million.  Construct a four-lane overpass over Toll Road from Sunrise Valley to Sunset Hills.  Identified ed in Reston Comprehensive Plan Draft as significant way to alleviate traffic. Contingent on development.
  • Dulles Toll Road/Town Center Parkway Underpass — $157 million. $6.1 million already in place as part of Silver Line Phase 2 funding. Construct four-lane divided roadway under Town Center Parkway from Sunrise Valley to Sunset Hills. Identified in Comprehensive Plan amendment as significant way to alleviate traffic. Contingent on development.
  • Dulles Toll Road/Soapstone Overpass — $91.75 million.  Construct a four-lane roadway over toll road from Sunrise Valley to Sunset Hills. Includes pedestrian and bike access. Identified in Comprehensive Master Plan Draft as major way to alleviate traffic.

The $100 million bond is one of many funding sources that will be used to pay for more than $1.4 billion in transportation priorities during the next six years, the county officials say. Due to the flexibility of bond funds, projects like spot roadway, pedestrian and bicycle projects can be funded and implemented efficiently and expeditiously, said Fairfax County Supervisors Chair Sharon Bulova. The projects proposed for bond funding were identified through extensive public outreach and engagement in the Countywide Dialogue on Transportation.

The county has the highest credit rating possible for any government: triple-A from Moody’s Investors Service Inc.; from Standard & Poor’s Corp.; and from Fitch Ratings. Currently, Fairfax County is one of only eight states, 37 counties, and 32 cities to hold a triple-A rating from all three rating agencies. For this reason, Fairfax County’s bonds sell at relatively low interest rates compared to other tax-free bonds, a county spokesman said.

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