The Virginia Department of Transportation’s project to widen Route 7 is well underway and is on track to finish by summer 2024.
The project planned to “improve almost seven miles of Route 7 between Reston Ave. and Jarrett Valley Drive,” according to Jennifer McCord, the Northern Virginia Communications Manager for the Virginia Department of Transportation.
As of right now, there are several traffic shifts and new traffic patterns along the Route 7 Corridor as crews place temporary asphalt for the road widening as well as intersection reconstruction, according to McCord. She added that noise walls will be added later as most of the work is completed.
At the beginning of the project, VDOT set a $313.9 million budget, and according to McCord, they are still on track to complete within that budget.
As of June 2020, from Reston Avenue to Riva Ridge Drive making up Area 1 West, there has been continued storm sewer installation, relocated communication lines, installation of an underdrain, continued construction of a stormwater management pond and cement stabilization, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation project website.
In Area 1 East from Baron Cameron Ave. to Carpers Farm Way, construction completed cement stabilizations, placed base asphalt, shifted eastbound Route 7 lanes towards the median, began reconstruction of Delta Glen Court pavement and built a retaining wall west of Baron Cameron Ave.
In Area 2, the Baron Cameron Intersection, Stage 2 construction was pending right-of-way acquisition.
In Area 3, Difficult Run Area, there was continued relocation of communication utilities.
In Area 4, Faulkner Drive to Jarrett Valley Drive, there was the construction of a stormwater management pond, asphalt was placed for temporary pavement in the median and they completed shoulder strengthening along the eastbound lanes, according to the website.
Since fewer people have been traveling since the pandemic, the number of allowable work hours extended because of the decrease in traffic volume.
“Due to the 40-60% decrease in traffic volumes in parts of March and April, VDOT was able to grant select contractor requests for extended allowable work hours,” said McCord.
Improvements at Towlston Road were completed in October 2019, and a new triple left turn at Baron Cameron Ave. was completed early and has been open for about a year, said McCord.
The website continues to post lane closure updates for the following week every Friday.
Photos courtesy of Jennifer McCord