The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved the county’s Transportation Priorities Plan — which is estimated to cost roughly $3 billion dollars.
The plan approved last Tuesday (Dec. 3) by the board will guide decisions for transit improvements for fiscal years 2020 to 2025, according to a county press release.
In the Hunter Mill District specifically, there are more than 50 projects recommended by the county documents — many of which include improvements in safety measures for pedestrians and bicyclists as well as various infrastructure and intersection changes. Some of the projects suggested in the plan will be fully funded by the estimated cost, while other projects will need to find additional funding.
Here is a list of a few major improvements in the plan:
- Widen Route 7 from four to six lanes from Jarrett Valley Drive (Dulles Toll Road) to Reston Avenue. This would include intersection, bicycle and pedestrian and bus stop changes
- Addition of a walkway on the north side of Fox Mill Road from Fairfax County Parkway to Reston Parkway
- Expansion of Reston bike-share
- Expansion of Town Center Parkway to include a divided roadway under the Dulles Toll Road from Sunrise Valley Drive to Sunset Hills Road
The Fairfax County Department of Transportation will also continue projects that are already underway, according to Fairfax County’s website.
County documents also included a list of projects that were not recommended for the 2020-25 Priorities List, including the underpass for Town Center Parkway and the Dulles Toll Road.
In 2014, the Board of Supervisors approved $1.4 billion for six years of transportation projects from FY 2015-2020.
The county said in the press release that the funding estimate for the FY 2020- 2025 plan was impacted by the Virginia General Assembly passing legislation that diverted funds to the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority, along with rising project costs.
More from the press release:
The anticipated funding for a draft FY 2018-2023 TPP was $600 million in new revenues to fully fund existing projects and $170 million in new projects. These funding estimates were not realized, because in 2018, the Virginia General Assembly passed legislation that designated $154 million per year for the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority (WMATA) to address system improvement needs largely did so by diverting funding from existing local and regional sources.
Of the $102 million annual diversion, the financial impact on Fairfax County was estimated to be $45-50 million per year, or approximately $300 million over six years. As a result, there is no available revenue for new transportation projects. In addition, the County was required to adjust schedules for some previously approved projects, many beyond FY 2025…
According to the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), project costs have been rising for various reasons, including the number of large-scale projects underway across the National Capital Region causing shortages of labor and materials; economic factors such as tariffs and rising right-of-way costs; and across the board increases on project contingencies required by VDOT.
Image via Google Maps
Southbound Fox Mill Road near Lawyers Road is closed due to a damaged pole.
According to the Fairfax County Police Department, the road is closed as crews work to repair a pole that was damaged when a car crashed into it earlier this morning.
It’s unclear when the road will reopen. Drivers should expect delays.
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) December 9, 2019
Photo via Google Maps
Commuters can expect more changes to service at the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station through the end of the year.
The station, which was closed this week, will be closed on the following weekends:
- Nov. 30 to Dec. 1
- Dec. 7 to Dec. 8
- Dec. 14 to Dec. 15
- Dec. 21 to Dec. 22
- Dec. 28 to Dec. 29
The closers are required to continue Silver Line tie-in work. More information on closures planned through the end of the year is available online.
The Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station will be closed this weekend due to ongoing track work.
Buses will be available to replace trains to and from the Spring Hill Metro Station.
On the rest of the Silver Line, trains will operate on regular weekend intervals between Spring Hill. And Largo Town Center.
More service changes are expected as the work is expected to continue for several weekends, according to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
Metro will also continue cable installation work on the Red Line. Single tracking is expected between Friendship Heights and Medical Center stations, with trains running every 16 minutes.
Changes are also expected on the Orange Line. The Blue, Yellow and Green lines will have regular service.
More information on weekend service changes is available online.
Photo by Fairfax Connector
Fairfax County is seeking more feedback from commuters who use the Fairfax Connector.
A new round of meetings will give community members another chance to provide critiques for plans for the future of the Fairfax Connector and the Silver Line Metrorail expansion around Reston and Herndon, according to a press release.
People who want to give feedback can attend any of the three upcoming meetings, which are all accessible from the Fairfax Connector.
- Herndon Middle School Cafeteria (901 Locust Street) on Thursday (Oct. 28) from 7-9 p.m.
- Ox Hill Baptist Church (4101 Elmwood Street) on Friday (Oct. 29) from 7-9 p.m.
- Reston Community Center at Lake Anne (1609-A Washington Plaza) on Saturday (Nov. 2) from 10 a.m.-noon
Anyone unable to attend the meetings in person may give feedback online. The form will be open from Oct. 23 until Nov. 30.
Comments can also be mailed to Fairfax County Department of Transportation, 4050 Legato Road, Suite 400, Fairfax, VA 22033.
Feedback from the meetings will be synthesized and converted into another design to “provide better access to destinations, improved travel times, increased schedule reliability and more dependable service,” the press release said.
This final plan will be available in early 2020 for a final round of critiques.
Commuters on the Silver, Orange and Blue Lines should expect significant delays throughout today (Monday) after two trains collided between the Foggy Bottom and Farragut West stations.
Since 5:30 a.m. today, the three lines have been running trains every 15 minutes. Silver Line trains are only Running between Wiehe-Reston East and Ballston. The Orange and Blue Lines are single-tracking between Farragut West and McPherson Square.
The rear-end collision happened around 1 a.m. today. Two train operators were treated for non-life-threatening injuries after the out-of-service trains collided.
Commuters should consider using alternative routes. Metro’s rush hour promise will be suspended on the three lines this afternoon.
Metro says the trails did not derail and no damage to Metro’s infrastructure was reported.
A portion of the Silver Line will be closed between the Wiehle-Reston East and Spring Hill Station this weekend (Oct. 5-6).
The closure is one effect as crews work on connections between phase one and two of the Silver Line project.
Metrobus plans to provide free shuttles during regular Metrorail hours for commuters.
Trains will operate on regular weekend intervals between every 12 and 15 minutes between the Spring Hill and New Carrolton stations.
Customers traveling to and from Benning Road, Capitol Heights, Addison Road, Morgan Boulevard and largo Town Center must use Blue Line trains to commute.
Other service changes throughout the system are listed online.
Photo via Fairfax Connector
A portion of Sunrise Valley Drive is closed due to emergency road repairs required by a gas leak.
According to the Fairfax County Police Department, commuters are encouraged to use an alternate route between Colts Brook Drive and Thunder Chase Drive.
The service road accessing the Herndon Monroe Bus Loop is shut down. Commuters can access the Herndon Monroe Bus Loop via the Dulles Toll Road.
Delays are expected to all Fairfax Connector routes servicing the loop.
It is unclear when the road will reopen.
This story will be updated.
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) September 17, 2019
Fairfax County officials’ concerns about safety dominated the county board’s latest discussions about phase two of the Silver Line project.
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority reportedly wants to open the six-station second phase from Wiehle-Reston East to Loudoun Gateway and Ashburn next July.
Mark Canale from the Fairfax County Department of Transportation provided the Board of Supervisors with an update on the project today (Tuesday) at the Transportation Committee meeting.
Currently, dynamic testing and safe breaking testing are taking place for the project, he said.
Canale said that there are “four issues that are ongoing right now.” The issues include problems with concrete and leveling.
This isn’t the first time the project has run into problems. Earlier this year, defective concrete rail ties put the tracks out of alignment.
“This is a big project and an important project,” Chairman Sharon Bulova said. “I think it’s absolutely critical that when something is not getting done correctly, that we don’t brush over it and that we hold the contractors’ feet to the fire.”
Braddock District Supervisor John Cook said that the safety concerns should be taken seriously. “It will kill us,” he said.
Cook stressed that he wants transparency and honestly around the issues so that they can get fixed.
“It’s pretty bad when your concrete doesn’t work,” Cook said. “That’s a bad thing.”
In addition to the issues facing the project, Canale said that riders can expect several weekend closures at the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station in the coming months as work on the Silver Line project continues.
The first closure — which has been approved already — would last from Oct. 5-7. The following month, riders can expect closures from Nov. 9-12 and Nov. 30-Dec. 2.
Photos courtesy Dusty Smith/Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project
A community meeting next week will tackle proposed Fairfax Connector changes that would impact riders in Reston and Herndon.
Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) is seeking the public’s input on proposed service changes to six routes:
- Route 396: a new route servicing Backlick North Park-and-Ride to the Pentagon
- Route 306: GMU- Pentagon
- Route 395: Gambrill-Pentagon Express
- Route 640: Stone Road-Westfields Boulevard
- Route 650: Chantilly
- Route 950: Herndon-Reston
The proposed changes to the Herndon-Reston adjust the running time on Elden Street on Saturdays heading eastbound and westbound between 3-7 p.m.
FCDOT says that the proposed changes for all of the routes “will improve on-time performance.”
The meeting is set for 7 p.m. at the cafeteria at Eagle View Elementary School at 4500 Dixie Hill Road in Fairfax on Thursday, Sept. 19.
“In addition to the community meeting, Fairfax Connector staff will connect with customers, in-person throughout September, on routes that are affected by the proposed service changes,” according to FCDOT.
People can submit comments until Oct. 1. After reviewing the feedback, FCDOT plans to bring the proposed changes to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors this fall.
If approved, riders can expect the changes to go into effect in January.
Update on Friday, July 26 at 8 a.m.: The road was reopened early Friday morning.
Commuters passing through Georgetown Pike at Seneca Road should plan to take a detour today (Thursday).
The Fairfax County Police Department indicated that the road is shutdown due to emergency repairs.
It is unclear how long the road will remain shutdown.
No other information was immediately available.
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) July 25, 2019
Fairfax County officials have called Capital Bikeshare in Reston a success since the program was launched in 2016.
Now, the county plans to install 10 stations by next spring.
At a Fairfax County Board Transportation Committee meeting yesterday (May 14), staff discussed plans to expand the program throughout Reston, Tysons, Vienna and Merrifield.
The 16 stations already in Reston are used more frequently than the 13 in Tysons, according to county data.
Staff have been hesitant to pinpoint exact locations of the stations, but did release a list of possible sites during yesterday’s meeting:
- Baron Cameron Avenue
- North Shore Drive corridor
- Glade Drive corridor
- Reston Community Center Hunters Woods
- Discussions are also underway to fund even more stations in the Reston and Herndon Transit Station Areas.
Overall, bikeshare use in the county increase by 3.3 percent between 2017 and 2018. The county is also now seeing more bicyclists use the bikes for trips beyond Wiehle-Reston East in Reston.
A $313.9 million project is underway to improve almost seven miles of Route 7 between Reston Avenue and Jarrett Valley Drive. But before construction begins later this year, state transportation officials are courting public comment on the “Connect Route 7” project, which has been contemplated since 1975.
The project, which should be complete by July 2024, widens the road from four to six lanes, adds a 10-foot wide shared-use path on both sides, and improves several intersections along the corridor.
A public meeting on the project is set for May 7 from 7-9 p.m. at Forestville Elementary School (1085 Utterback Store Road) and on May 14 during the same time at Colvin Run Elementary School (1400 Trap Road). Experts will be on hand to answer questions about the project.
It’s possible that more than 500,000 square feet of noise barriers could be installed along the corridor, according to VDOT. Property owners will be surveyed to determine if noise barriers will be constructed.
The project will not be completed until July 2024. Utility relocation could take until the summer of 2023 and right of way acquisition will likely be complete by early 2021, VDOT says.
“These improvements will increase capacity, improve safety and traffic flow, and enhance mobility for cyclists and pedestrians, all in conformity with Fairfax County’s Comprehensive Plan.”
Map via VDOT
Update (11:22 p.m.): Delays have cleared, according to the Herndon Police Department. No information about the crash was released.
If you’re headed down the southbound lanes of Elden Street, be on the alert.
The Herndon Police Department said to expect significant delays on the 1200 block of the street due to an accident.
No other information was immediately available.
— Herndon Police (@HerndonPolice) April 25, 2019
This story has been updated.
Drivers will have their Herndon-Monroe parking relocated to the new garage starting next week as work continues in preparation for the new Herndon Metro station.
The existing parking garage will close next Monday (April 8) for a few months as it undergoes changes. Parking will get relocated to the first, second and third levels of the new garage, which is almost done with construction, according to Fairfax County.
Access to eastbound Dulles Toll Road from the parking facility is scheduled to resume in late April after toll booth renovation is done.
Until then, drivers will need to take a detour onto Sunrise Valley Drive via the Fairfax County Parkway.
Photos via Fairfax County