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Bridge on W&OD Trail Over Wiehle Avenue Approved

by Fatimah Waseem July 12, 2018 at 12:00 pm 23 Comments

An aerial bridge on the Washington & Old Dominion Trail over Wiehle Avenue could be constructed by October 2022.

Earlier this week, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved final design plans for the project, which is expected to cost $11.4 million, according to the Fairfax County Department of Transportation.

The bridge includes retaining walls and directional access to Wiehle Avenue for trail users. Wiehle Avenue would be widened from Sunset Hills Road to the Reston Fire Station property in order to make way for future on-road bike lanes.

Plans have long been identified by the Reston Metrorail Access Group’s plan to improve vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian access near the new Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail Station.

Robin Geiger, a spokeswoman for FCOD, said design plans are currently 90 percent complete. The project timeline expects utility design and relocation to take a little over a year-and-a-half, land acquisition to take a year, construction authorization and permitting to take eight months and construction to take one year.

Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins said the project faces the challenge of ensuring the bridge maintains synergy in the midst of urban properties that are coming together down the street.

The developer of the Isaac Newtown properties, which are being redeveloped, said they were concerned the project’s scale interferes with the development. County officials said they would work with the developer to mitigate any concerns.

However, according to FCDOT, the height of the bridge is necessary because the design of the bridge uses existing infrastructure in order to cut cost costs. The height is also vital to meet grade requirements and requirements stipulated by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Rendering via FCDOT

  • 30yearsinreston

    Hudgins concern is to maintain ‘synergy with the development’

    No mention of spending taxpaper money while developers reap the benefits

    This stinks

    • Greg

      Urban undesirable eyesores is more like it.

      Comstock’s “iconic” upside down Reston Station building is still 100% vacant.

  • wasINWDC

    Isaac Newton properties are concerned the scale of a pedestrian bridge will interfere with their development – how exactly? Do they own the fire station, too? I couldn’t do the nebulous math on the timeline, but are we looking at a completion date of 3 years from now (or do some of those tasks run concurrently)? I might be wrong but it seems like FCDOT is purposely making this much needed bridge difficult so it never gets built.

    • 30yearsinreston

      It may detract from the view
      Who wants to look at sweaty cyclists from the balconies of the iconic towers
      Also, the county may want a proffer when the cost skyrockets

      • Greg

        Silly us — the residents of the “workforce” housing cannot possibly be exposed to the hoi polloi.

    • Greg

      7 / 2018 -> 10 / 2022 = 4 1/4 years.

  • vdiv

    By October 2022?! How about by October 2018?

    • Mike M

      Lawyers have to make their ridiculous money for their petty work. Yep, this should take as long as the US role in WW2. Makes perfect sense. And if anyone wonders why lawyers were outlawed in Sparta . . . well people might have been smarter way back then.

      Still this is better then nothing. Hudgins must be up for re-election. The leftish sheeple of Reston will forget that she has spent most of this term selling us out behind the smoke screen of equality and diversity.

    • David Romero

      Did you read the article? It will take Dominion Power more than a “year for utility design and relocation”.

      Anytime you want to build on someone else’s land it is not going to be quick doubly so when that involves moving infrastructure like power lines.

      It does suck that none of those things on the timeline can’t be done in parallel. However, I’m not a civil engineer so I don’t know if that would be feasible.

      • Greg

        Did you read the article?

        Where is Dominion Power (which no longer exists: it’s Dominion Energy) referenced in the reposted press release?

        What we read is: “The project timeline expects utility design and relocation to take a little over a year-and-a-half…”

        Also, there’s nothing in the reposted press release indicating the timing, order, or sequencing, serial or parallel, of the project components.

        • David Romero

          If you add the project components, you get the 4+ year projection. My point is though we like to complain that government is inefficient and slow the Department of Transportation is hampered by things outside its control.

          The most obvious being having the “local utility” whatever the name move power lines and sell the land.

          I just hope the mentioned developer doesn’t try stall the project with frivolous law suits.

          • Greg

            Let’s see — could there be sewer lines? Water lines? Telephone lines? Lit or dark fiber? Black fiber?

            I do hope the developer sues and forces the eyesore to be abandoned and replaced with a tunnel — at the same time the utilities are moved. Dig once bury forever.

            And, the inefficient government has clearly been working on this mess for a long time — according to the press release design plans are 90 percent complete — and it part of the Metro access group’s long ago developed plans.

          • David Romero

            I really don’t understand what we are arguing about. For argument sake say it was a different type of utility. How would that change my point on the difficulties? In any case, the county would have to compel a private entity to do something which takes time.

            I would have liked a tunnel. It makes for an easier crossing on bike. I assume part of the long design process was to figure out feasibility and cost of different options and then to have different stakeholders provide feedback at public hearings. I don’t see how one stakeholder suing to get their way would make the process more efficient.

          • Greg

            You assume too much.

            And, in this case if not most cases, suing has nothing to do with efficiency.

          • FYI, Greg is Mike M’s sock puppet

      • Mike M

        So, four years is perfectly reasonable? I can’t agree.

  • Greg

    Why is the image so blurry?

    • Mike M

      It’s air pollution from the cars sitting in the Sunset Hills rush hour jams.

      • Willie Reston

        Wait, I thought pollution was a big librul hoax?

        • Mike M

          Not always. Moreover, I don’t know anyone who ever said that. You are busy at your strawman factory these days, Willie. is that because you are unequipped to deal with real men? This pollution was brought to us by librul Cathy Hudgins and the Board of Supes and their social engineering ideals that somehow never consider infrastructure. “Let them have bikes,” says Cathy.

  • Jared

    NFL and MLB stadiums can be built in less than 4 years. Considering that, no amount of power lines, utilities, or paperwork makes the slow timeline for this pedestrian bridge acceptable. Simply terrible bureaucracy, especially for a “planned” community.

  • keith sumner

    If you believe it will be done in 4 years, perhaps you would be interested in paying me to own a portion of the bridge yourself. I can give you a great deal. My guess is no sooner that 2026. We just went through the process with FCDOT and DEP in Vienna to get a 2000 ft trail with a creek crossing built from our neighborhood to Spring Hill Metro station through the DEP power line right of way. The concept was approved in 2012 and funded in 2013, but it won’t be complete until Oct of this year, assuming they meet the ever sliding planned completion date. DEP and likely other utilities in the area will add at least a year to the process, not to mention if they need to purchase land/liens from any of the adjacent property owners. My favorite delay was right after they started and DEP raised safety concerns about working under power lines that halted construction. But to be fair, who could have foreseen such an issue for a trail through a power line right of way. As for developers, who cares. If they don’t like how it looks, they can offer to pay for changes. They are deriving significant value from their proximity to the trail.

    BTW – not sure in this case, but Dominion typically doesn’t own the land, the FC BoS or park authority does and DEP has a utility right of way. I assume they have significant legal rights in any case.

  • Such a waste of time

    As predictable as the setting of the sun we have the trolls Mike and Greg coming out to complain about a bike story. They bring the same worn out tired and hollow arguments. Nothing new, nothing innovating. Just trolls complaining.

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