Some residents of Herndon say they risk their lives — or at least their cars — when they cross the intersection of Fox Mill and Pinecrest roads. Many report going minutes out of the way to avoid turning onto or off of the highway.
But those days of accidents and long waits in the left-turn lane may soon be over.
Next week, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will vote on a resolution to authorize a partnership between the county and state departments of transportation to install a light signal and construct left-turn lanes in the intersection, which has been the site of dozens of accidents in five years.
The signal was deemed necessary after the Virginia Department of Transportation studied the intersection. To get started, VDOT will need to conduct a preliminary engineering phase for this project, which will cost $900,000.
This money comes from a county and regional construction reserve fund.
Preliminary engineering for the project began in the fall, according to VDOT.
The county may be responsible for the remaining $4.8 million to pay for the right-of-way and construction phases of this project, but the state and county will look for additional sources of funding and find ways to share costs, the resolution says.
Before work on the signal could start, the transportation department did make improvements aimed at calming traffic. The road lines were repainted to add a left turn lane, which took aim at a frequent maneuver in which drivers going straight illegally moved around the cars that had to wait in a through road to turn left.
Additionally, stop and yield signs were installed and foliage was removed to improve sight distance.
This signal would answer the demands of Herndon residents. The intersection is home to a swim and tennis club, a popular bank and a church, and families must navigate it to get children to and from nearby schools.
In fact, three years ago, more than 560 people signed a petition to demand a solution for the intersection. The Fox Mill Estates Homeowners Association, a nearby community, continues to support the project.