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Get a Look at Planned Wiehle Avenue Pedestrian Bridge Tonight

by Karen Goff March 17, 2016 at 10:00 am 16 Comments

Renderings of foot bridge/Courtesy FCDOT

The Wiehle Avenue and Sunset Hills Road intersection is being targeted for pedestrian improvements by the Fairfax County Department of Transportation. The public is invited to hear more at a public hearing Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Reston Community Center Hunters Woods.

That location, never a smooth one for motorists and pedestrians, has become more crowded — and sometimes dangerous — since the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station opened just south of it in 2014.

It’s the confluence of two major roads, increasing development, a Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Station, a popular fast food area, and the W&OD pedestrian and bike trail.

The county is planning a new pedestrian bridge to improve vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian access near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station as noted in Reston Metrorail Access Group’s (RMAG) plan.

Says the county:

The bridge will be located on the W&OD Trail and extend over Wiehle Avenue replacing the existing at-grade crossing. The new bridge will accommodate both the gravel path and asphalt W&OD Trail at this location.

Minor roadway, sidewalk and median modifications will be made to Wiehle Avenue at this location to accommodate the bridge.

Several utility relocations will be required for the project site along with the installation of drainage and stormwater management features.

The bridge is expected to cost $10 million, said project manager Scott Riffner.

The project is part of the Third Four-Year Transportation Program that was approved by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in 2012.

FCDOT is seeking public feedback about the bridge’s potential design elements. Find out how to give your feedback.

Here is a tentative project schedule:

  • Public Hearing, Winter 2016
  • Document Completion, Winter 2016
  • Public Hearing Design Approval, Spring 2016
  • Land Acquisition Completion, Spring 2018
  • Final Design Approval, Winter 2018
  • Utility Relocation Completion, Summer 2019
  • Construction Completion, Winter 2021

See graphics below to get an idea of what the footbridge may look like.

Bridge Renderings by Karen Goldberg Goff

Renderings of foot bridge/Courtesy FCDOT

  • GrumpyOldMan

    So it’s going to take FIVE YEARS to build a 100′ bridge! Astounding!

    • Mike M

      Five and a half. Same as World War II in Europe. Most of that time is consumed by legal and political activities. I concur with astounding. Seems the Wiehle Metro complex went up faster.

      • concordpoint

        Private partner made that happen (Wiehle Metro). Yes people and material were transported to Europe and returned from WWII in the timeframe the County proposes. They are consistent though, as the Library people!

        • Mike M

          You refer to the US effort. That was Jan 42-May 45. Even less time.

          • concordpoint

            You are correct. Bottom line- public need not as efficient as private profit!

          • Jason Rub

            what in the actual hell are you people even talking about anymore

    • LakeNewportLady

      My thoughts exactly! It takes less time to build a sky scraper! How many people are going to get hit in the next 5 years??

    • Nyla J.

      It’s all part of the master plan.

      • Mike M

        Ahem. Der master plan.

  • Flabber Gasted

    Why wasn’t this done two years ago?

    • Nyla J.

      They would have had to start the planning for it seven years ago.

  • Charles P. Dorfeuille

    Paragraph 4, line one. Typo “pedestrian bridge yo improve vehicle”

  • Tammi Petrine

    NOTE to VDOT: Make the bridge TALL enough to accommodate all the fire trucks and other heavy duty construction equipment that will be required in the razing of Reston for “progress.” (Snark included for the illogical sequencing of ALL of the transportation projects needed for the approved projects that are being allowed to proceed with the related improvements of bridges, streets and underpasses 20 – 30 years out. What kind of community will be here in 20 – 30 years? I fear many of us will have moved away by then due to gridlock, frustration and sub-standard over-crowded conditions. So much for the “progress” destroying to our gem.

    Also, where and when was this meeting about the pedestrian bridge announced previous to this notice???

  • Subby

    This is great news for cyclists and pedestrians. Really excited for this project to be completed. Good job Reston.

  • KW

    If you had gone to the meeting, you would know that much of the delay is due to Virginia Dominion Power issues in the easement. They also greatly limit the design choices. This is a best possible choice, not a perfect one.

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