(Update 3/3) A major project to widen nearly seven miles of Route 7 between Reston Avenue and Jarrett Valley Drive remains on track for completion by July 31, 2024.
It is also expected to be completed within its $314 million budget, confirms Jennifer McCord, a Virginia Department of Transportation spokeswoman.
The improvements include widening the heavily-trafficked road – also known as Leesburg Pike – from four to six lanes, adding shared-use paths for pedestrians and bikers, and making major design changes to intersections.
It’s all being done within the guidelines of the Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan.
Over the last two months, construction has continued at different sections of the road.
Between Reston Avenue and Utterback Store Road, a noise barrier is currently being added as well as the installation of a storm sewer between Reston Avenue and Baron Cameron Avenue.
From Baron Cameron Avenue to Colvin Run Road, existing asphalt was removed.
In the Difficult Run Area, work has continued on the new Colvin Run as well as excavation for the pedestrian tunnel that will run under Route 7.
Between Faulkner Drive to Jarrett Valley Drive, water main relocations and traffic shifts are taking place.
Landscaping work and third-party utility relocations are underway throughout the roadway.
In the upcoming months, crews will begin removing the Route 7 bridge over Difficult Run and will eventually complete a higher, longer bridge to replace it.
Colvin Run will also be diverted to a new stream channel. Small weirs (barriers) are being placed in the stream bed to encourage a meandering flow pattern and vegetation growth.
Construction will also continue on the pedestrian tunnel underneath Route 7 connecting the north and south sections of Colvin Run Mill Park.
Despite the ongoing work, public access to the Gerry Connolly Cross County Trail will be maintained.
While crews continue to work with COVID-19 safety protocols in effect, the decreased traffic volume in the earlier part of the pandemic has allowed VDOT to extend work hours in certain cases.
Photo courtesy of VDOT