The widening of Elden Street from four to six lanes — a roughly $40.6 million project — is expected to begin in late 2022.
The Virginia Department of Transportation plans to widen the street between Herndon and Fairfax County parkways. Along the street, bike lanes are planned from Monroe Street to Herndon Parkway, in addition to cycle tracks from Herndon Parkway to Fairfax County Parkway.
VDOT will also replace culverts over Sugarland Run with a new bridge to improve stream flow and reduce flooding. Overhead utilities along Elden Street will be buried between Monroe Street and Fairfax County Parkway.
Right-of-way acquisition kicked off in 2019 and is expected to wrap up by the end of the fall, according to Murphy.
Construction for the underground utility duct bank will begin in late 2022. But the actual widening, bicycle improvements, and construction of the bridge won’t kick off until early 2025, according to Mike Murphy, a spokesman for VDOT.
“The costs and schedules are estimates and subject to change as the design progresses and schedules are refined,” Murphy wrote in a statement to Reston Now.
Most of East Elden Street is a fore-lane undivided road. Few dedicated left-turn lanes result in major backups and traffic congestion. Changes are expected to improve access to businesses and the future Herndon Metrorail Station.
A host of other pedestrian and road improvements are planned in the Town of Herndon. In May, the town council awarded a contract to the Ashburn Construction Corp. for a new signal and sidewalks at the Elden -Monroe Street intersection.
Approximately seven miles of the Dulles International Airport Access Highway going westbound will be closed this weekend (Sept. 11 and 12) for maintenance work on pedestrian bridges.
Starting just east of Reston at mile marker 8.3, traffic will be diverted to the left lane of the Dulles Toll Road. Drivers will be able to enter the airport access road again at mile marker 1.7, near the Route 28 toll plaza and right past the soon-to-be-opened Innovation Center Station.
Ramps at mile marker 9 and 3.3 for the westbound portion of the airport access highway will also be closed.
The closures will run from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day.
All work is weather-dependent, though weather does not appear it will be a factor this weekend.
This work is being done by contractor Capital Rail Constructors as part of its preparations for the opening of Silver Line Phase 2, a Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority official says.
A weekend was chosen to conduct the maintenance work in the hopes of minimizing the closure’s impact on traffic, the MWAA official notes.
Photo via MWAA
The bridge will remain open during construction, but flaggers will be present to direct traffic, and lanes may be closed on Hunter Mill Road during the following times:
- Monday through Thursday: 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
- Monday night through Thursday night: 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
- Friday: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Friday night: 10 p.m. to 9 a.m.
- Saturday night: 9 p.m. to 9 a.m.
- Sunday night: 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
VDOT says the trail that crosses Hunter Mill Road south of the bridge may also be closed intermittently during construction.
“Drivers, cyclists and pedestrians are reminded to use caution when traveling in active work zones,” VDOT said in its news release. “Be alert to new traffic patterns, limit distractions and follow detour route signage.”
Approved by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on Dec. 1, the project is replacing the existing one-lane bridge with a two-lane bridge featuring a grass median or splitter island to separate the lanes.
It also entails improvements to the trail crossing, median landscaping, and abutments for a new trail bridge over Colvin Run that the county will build in the future.
The current bridge was built in 1974 and is limited to bearing 10 tons, even though an average of 8,500 vehicles use Hunter Mill Road in the project area every day, according to 2019 VDOT data.
The project carries an estimated cost of $5.2 million, including $1 million for engineering work and $4.2 million for the actual construction. The projected cost of construction has gone down, as VDOT estimated as recently as early July that it would cost $4.8 million.
The funding includes a $408,000 contribution from Fairfax County for pedestrian improvements south of the new bridge, including the construction of the splitter island and median refuge and the installation of rectangular rapid flashing beacons.
The rest of the funding comes from federal and state sources, primarily VDOT’s State of Good Repair program to help rehabilitate or replace bridges that are in poor condition.
Conducted by contractor Clearwater Construction Inc., construction is expected to be completed in the fall of 2022.
Fairfax County Kids Return to School — “We are back, ready to experience all the great things that come with learning together, five days a week in person. We can’t wait to see our students arrive at school…Show off that first-day excitement by posting photos to your favorite social media site and tagging them with #FirstDayFairfax and #FCPSReturningStrong.” [FCPS]
MWAA Proposes New Tech on Dulles Toll Road — “The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority wants to add digital signs and closed-circuit monitoring technology along the Dulles Toll Road. The airports authority is looking for a contractor to build the infrastructure and install an intelligent transportation system — which would include six dynamic message signs and 15 closed-circuit television installations — along the widely-used commuter route.” [Washington Business Journal]
W&OD Trail Near Wiehle Reopens After Utility Work — The Washington & Old Dominion Trail has reopened east of Wiehle Avenue in Reston after closing earlier this summer so Dominion Energy could relocate overhead electric transmission lines. The utility work was necessary to prepare the site for construction on a pedestrian bridge over Wiehle that’s expected to begin next summer. [The W&OD Trail/Twitter]
Virginia Leads in Rent Relief Funding After Past Stumbles — “From January through May, Virginia distributed more dollars than any other state from the first round of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, according to U.S. Treasury figures. By the end of June, Virginia ranked second only to Texas…As of late July, Virginia has spent more than $335 million in rental relief funds and assisted more than 51,000 households, according to state figures.” [Associated Press/WTOP]
Reston Woman Dies After Car Crash — Stephanie D. Garcia, 29, of Reston died at Fairfax Inova Hospital on Aug. 8 from injuries she sustained the previous day in a two-car crash on I-95 at the 169-mile marker in Springfield. Reportedly not wearing a seatbelt, Garcia was thrown from her car when another vehicle struck it head on while she was making a U-turn. The other driver was transported to a hospital for treatment of serious injuries. [Virginia State Police]
D.C. Restaurant Week Returns — The Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington’s summer D.C. Restaurant Week kicked off yesterday (Monday) and will last through Sunday (Aug. 15), with many participants again offering to-go options. Reston-area venues include Founding Farmers, Makers Union, The Melting Pot, and more. [Viva Tysons]
Construction on Autumnwood Pickleball Courts Begins — “Construction has begun on the permanent pickleball courts at the Autumnwood Recreation facility. Pickleball players have been temporarily moved to courts 3 and 4. Tennis will no longer be played at Autumnwood until the new pickleball courts are finished in September. When construction has been completed, tennis will resume at Autumnwood.” [RA News]
General Assembly Approves COVID Relief Plan — “The General Assembly on Monday approved a spending plan for $4.3 billion in federal coronavirus relief money, with lawmakers leaving about $1.1 billion unappropriated so it is available for future needs if the pandemic worsens…The plan calls for using $800 million of the American Rescue Plan money to replenish the state’s unemployment trust fund, $700 million for rural broadband, $411 million on clean-water projects, $353 million for small-business relief and $250 million for school ventilation systems.” [The Washington Post]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
Fairfax County Flies Flags at Half Mast for Pentagon Officer — Fairfax County flags will fly at half-mast today (Wednesday) after a Pentagon police officer was killed in a shooting incident that prompted a lockdown around the Department of Defense’s headquarters. Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay said in a statement that there was no threat to the county and no county resources were deployed. [Jeff McKay/Twitter]
CDC Revives Federal Eviction Moratorium — “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday issued a new moratorium on evictions that would last until October 3, ending some of the political pressure being placed on President Joe Biden. The new moratorium could help keep millions in their homes as the coronavirus’ delta variant has spread and states have been slow to release federal rental aid.” [Associated Press/WTOP]
Leidos Brings Back Mask Mandate — The Reston information technology contractor doesn’t anticipate scaling back operations like when COVID-19 hit last spring, but CEO Roger Krone said during a second-quarter earnings call yesterday (Tuesday) that “we are essentially going back to a mask mandate…and we expect all of our customers to do that.” Leidos is also dealing with concerns about international travel restrictions and supply chain disruptions. [Washington Technology]
Local Private School Prepares for New School Year — Like many other private schools, the all-girls Oakcrest School saw an uptick in enrollment during the pandemic and is planning to provide in-person classes five days a week when school starts in early September. Officials say construction on a new athletic center on the school’s campus at 1619 Crowell Road in the Vienna/Reston area is set to begin later this year. [Sun Gazette]
One of the two residential towers planned for the Faraday Park development near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station is now open to residents.
Move-ins for 242-unit Faraday West tower officially began on April 17, a spokesperson for the property confirmed to Reston Now. Reston Skylines reported in June that the building had opened to its first residents.
Delivery of Faraday East, however, is taking a little longer than anticipated. Developer Rooney Properties previously projected that construction on both towers would finish in May, but two months later, work is still going on the eastern tower, which will consist of 166 apartments.
“No exact completion date to share at the moment beyond being in the next few months,” the Faraday Park spokesperson said by email.
When completed, the seven-story towers will have more than 400 residential units and a total of about 10,000 square feet of retail space. On-site amenities include a maker’s workshop, a rooftop pool and sundeck, a fitness center, coworking spaces, dining room, commercial and baking kitchens, and a bike repair space.
The towers are accompanied by 13 four-story townhomes, according to Rooney Properties.
“The Rooney team is proud that Reston residents are officially calling Faraday Park home!” Rooney Properties senior associate Jake Ballard said in a statement. “The development is one of the fastest-leasing properties in Reston, and was designed with community in mind and meant to be a hub for active and amenity-filled living.”
Redevelopment of the 3.85-acre site at 11201 Reston Station Boulevard has been in the works since 2017, when the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved conceptual plans for mixed-use development to replace an existing office building.
Faraday Park is part of a larger boom in development along Sunset Hills Road spurred by the arrival of the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station, which opened in July 2014.
That same month, EYA broke ground on its Townhomes at Reston Station, the first step forward in the Reston Midline development that the company is working on with JBG Smith and The Chevy Chase Land Company. That project will eventually bring 1.8 million square feet of new development south of Sunset Hills Road and east of Wiehle Avenue.
Those prospective tenants were first announced in December 2019, but the Faraday Park spokesperson says it’s still too early to give a timeline for when they will move in.
F45, which added a site at Reston Town Center in February, told Reston Now then that they expect to open at Faraday Park this summer. Alo Vietnam opened a location near the future Innovation Center Metro station in January, though they’re still waiting to get the anticipated boost from the long-delayed Silver Line Phase 2 opening.
Reston drivers might have noticed some fencing and other construction equipment going up along stretches of road near South Lakes High School, as crews prep the area for a sidewalk construction project.
The approximately $2 million bicycle/pedestrian project on South Lakes Drive will add sidewalk to areas that are currently mostly dirt paths. According to a Fairfax County document, the sidewalk being constructed involves an approximately 3,600-foot-long area.
That’s not all. The Fairfax County Department of Transportation project will also add sidewalk on Twin Branches Road at the intersection with South Lakes Drive, where safety upgrades for pedestrians will also occur, Reston Association Chief Operating Officer Larry Butler said in a Reston Today video on Tuesday (July 6).
“Very early in the planning and scoping for this project, Fairfax County agreed to add a short section of sidewalk that had been identified in our multimodal transportation advisory committee’s report, Reston on Foot and Bike,” Butler said.
The project, which uses 2014 bond money, will install walkways from Greenskeepers Court to Soapstone Drive, Whisperwood Glen Lane to Ridge Heights Road, and Harbor Court to Twin Branches Road.
Orange barrel markers have been placed along areas of the project — areas which Butler said will fill in gaps between existing sections of sidewalk and Reston Association pathways, and improve three bus stops in main sections of the work.
Butler noted in the video that the project is one of three recent pedestrian improvement projects in the area. Work to add five-foot-wide sidewalks on the south side of Sunrise Valley Drive from South Lakes to Soapstone Drive and from RA’s headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Dr.) west to Glade Drive has been completed.
“These improvements will help facilitate a safer pedestrian experience for all Restonians,” Butler said. “I hope you get out and enjoy these paths and sidewalks once they’re completed.”
Residents in the Lake Fairfax area may soon notice signs popping up along Hunter Mill Road, as construction crews prepare to replace the bridge over Colvin Run.
A precise date for when construction will kick off has not been determined yet, but the Virginia Department of Transportation confirmed to Reston Now that work on the project is scheduled to start later this summer, slightly behind previous expectations.
Signs are being installed now for “erosion control activities” that will begin later this month, VDOT spokesperson Kathleen Leonard says, adding that the project webpage will be the best place to check for future updates as construction progresses.
Approved by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in December, the Hunter Mill Road over Colvin Run bridge replacement project will introduce a new bridge with two lanes separated by a three-foot-wide grass median.
Built in 1974, the existing bridge has just one lane and can only accommodate a maximum of 10 tons at a time. An average of 8,500 vehicles utilize the bridge per day, according to VDOT.
Other changes will include improvements to the trail crossing south of the bridge and the addition of abutments designed to accommodate a future trail bridge over Colvin Run, though that bridge will be constructed by Fairfax County at a later date.
VDOT awarded a construction contract for the project to Clearwater Construction, Inc. in April.
Based in Mercer, Pennsylvania, Clearwater is also involved in the Transform 66 Outside the Beltway project. According to the company’s website, it has specifically been tasked with constructing two bridges and supporting excavation needs as part of the project, which will add express lanes on I-66 from I-495 in Dunn Loring to Gainesville.
The Colvin Run bridge replacement project has an estimated cost of $5.8 million, including $4.8 million for construction.
New Police Chief Talks Reform at Reston Meeting — In a meeting at Reston Community Center on Tuesday (July 6), Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis expressed a commitment to reform and community policing, citing plans to diversify the department and encourage non-enforcement-related interactions between officers and the people they’re supposed to serve. Davis and the county have been under scrutiny for past uses of force, particularly when it comes to people of color. [Patch]
Herndon Resident Arrested for Rape — Milton Ernesto Alvarez Martinez, 26, was arrested on June 30 in the 1100 block of Criton Street on “three counts of forcible rape, three counts of sodomy, and three counts of aggravated sexual battery against a juvenile victim that is known to him.” He is being held at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center without bond. [Herndon Police Department]
Fellowship House Work to Close Lane, Block Parking — “Bozzuto Construction plans to remove the construction crane being used at the Lake Anne Fellowship House construction site, July 9-12. In order to remove the crane safely, a lane will be closed and no parking allowed along North Shore, from Village Road up to the construction site entrance.” [Hunter Mill District News]
Reston Park to Host Free Racquetball Clinic — The Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour and Fairfax County Park Authority will provide free racquetball lessons on July 24, 31, and Aug. 7 from 8:30 until 9:30 a.m. at Stratton Woods Park (2431 Fox Mill Road). The clinics will be open to youths from the ages of 7 to 17. [FCPA]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
Fairfax County Commemorates COVID-19 Losses — The Northern Virginia Regional Commission held a COVID-19 Remembrance Ceremony at the Fairfax County Government Center last night to recognize the more than 2,350 lives that have been lost to the pandemic. The ceremony streamed live on Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay’s Facebook page.
Sunset Hills Road Sidewalk Closes for Reston Station Construction — “Beginning yesterday, June 8, the sidewalk on Sunset Hills Rd. near the intersection of Wiehle Ave. will be closed long-term due to the ongoing Comstock construction project. See the map for closure area and alternative pedestrian route.” [Hunter Mill District News]
County Board Approves PIVOT Grant Program — The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted on Tuesday (June 8) to create a new grant program that will use $25 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds to support businesses hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will focus on the hotel, food service, retail, and arts and culture industries with applications scheduled to open from June 23 through July 9. [Fairfax County Government]
Democratic Primary Favors Moderates over Progressives — Three of the Virginia General Assembly’s most outspoken Democrats lost their seats on Tuesday (June 8), as voters largely opted for more moderate candidates backed by the party’s establishment. The upset incumbents included Herndon Del. Ibraheem Samirah as well as Prince William’s Del. Lee Carter and Del. Mark Levine of Alexandria. [Virginia Mercury]
Reston Chamber Offers Grants to Business — The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce’s nonprofit subsidiary INCspire Education Foundation is launching a BizMaker Grant Program to “promote inclusive entrepreneurship and a diversity of economic opportunities for businesses committed to job creation and revenue generation within Fairfax County.” [Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce]
Construction on improvements to the intersection of Elden and Center streets is now underway.
The Town of Herndon held a groundbreaking ceremony yesterday (Monday) to celebrate the initial steps of the project, which will realign the intersection, provide a new traffic signal, and add a turn lane.
“The two primary goals of the project is to signalize the intersection and to align the roadway on both sides of the road,” Richard Smith, a senior civil engineer for the town’s Department of Public Works, said. “And we’re accomplishing that by adding a right through turn lane on the south side of the intersection.”
The project also entails upgrades to the existing storm drain system and enhancements to the intersection’s pedestrian facilities, including improved crosswalks and new ADA signals. It is being coordinated with Comstock’s plans to redevelop downtown Herndon, which will encompass 4.7 acres adjacent to the Elden-Center street intersection.
Smith said there will undoubtedly some interruption to traffic during construction, but the town will do its “best to minimize any of those impacts and advertise those the best we can.”
The town council awarded a contract for the project on May 11 to Fort Meyer Construction Corporation with a low bid of $863,000 from five bids submitted.
Up to 50% of the construction contract will be covered by reimbursement funds through a revenue-sharing agreement between Herndon and the Virginia Department of Transportation. The costs not supported by the revenue-sharing agreement will come from local funds from the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority.
Town manager Bill Ashton confirmed that the project is currently projected to come in under budget at around $1.4 million. It is scheduled to be completed in spring 2022.
The Elden-Center street project is one of several capital projects in the works for Herndon’s downtown area.
The town council recently awarded a contract for pedestrian improvements at the Elden and Monroe street intersection, and a third phase of streetscape improvements is expected to start construction this year.
Metrobus Service Will Expand This Weekend — Starting Sunday (June 6), Metrobus will operate late-night service to 2 a.m. every day of the week on 36 of its busiest routes. There will also be more frequent service and restored service on more than 60 routes, bringing bus service to approximately 85% of pre-pandemic levels. [WMATA]
Independence Day Fireworks Coming to Lake Fairfax — “In honor of the nation’s Independence Day, Lake Fairfax will once again host a fireworks display. The event will take place on Saturday, July 3, 2021. Preregistration and capacity limits will be in place. Details will be posted as they become available on the Lake Fairfax Park website.” [Fairfax County Park Authority]
Chandon Park Playground to Be Replaced — Demolition and construction work has started on the playground at Chandon Park in Herndon. Expected to finish by July 31, the $140,000 project will introduce new equipment, subsurface drainage, and other upgrades to replace the playground, which was originally installed in the 1990s and no longer meets current safety guidelines. [Fairfax County Park Authority]
CACI Joins Fortune 500 List — For the first time in its history, CACI International was named a Fortune 500 company, an annual ranking of the biggest companies in the country based on revenue. Previously based in Arlington, the defense contractor officially opened its new corporate headquarters in Reston on May 28. [Business Wire]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
Repairs and rehabilitation is now complete on the 74-year-old Sugarland Run Bridge in Herndon.
Construction began last September on the westbound Route 7 (Leesburg Pike) portion of the bridge, which resulted in several lane closures on weekends and overnights in October. The project was completed last month.
The work included bridge pier and abutment repairs, the building of a new concrete bridge deck, guardrail upgrades, and new curbs and gutters. The total cost of the project was $4.4 million, paid for by a combination of state and federal funds.
Work and repairs were needed to address continued deterioration on the bridge’s underside, broken steel reinforcement strands, and debris clogging the drain pipes. Overall, the condition of the bridge deck and beams prior to the work was considered “poor” and “structurally deficient,” according to the staff report.
This section of Route 7 averages about 59,000 vehicles a day in combined eastbound and westbound travel.
The bridge was widened in 1981 and, again, in 2000.
Initially, VDOT planned to further widen the bridge in this project and extend the acceleration lane from the Fairfax County on-ramp to Dranesville Road, but those elements were cut from the project.
Those additional components would have brought the total cost of the project to about $11 million and were “not completed due to funding constraints,” a Virginia Department of Transportation confirms to Reston Now.
In the end, the project actually was finished ahead of schedule and under budget compared to estimates from June 2019. It was originally scheduled to be completed in the fall 2021 and cost about $6 million.
TGIF! Check out these pics of the newly rehabbed Rt 7 WB bridge over Sugarland Run in Herndon, including a new bridge deck and pier/abutment repairs. Way to go, project team! More info: https://t.co/5Qxli2EuXq pic.twitter.com/Xd890BbAJp
— VDOT Northern VA 😷 (@VaDOTNOVA) May 14, 2021
An effort by Fairfax County and the Town of Herndon to restore Sugarland Run Stream, the body of water that runs under the bridge, is currently in the works.
Set to be completed in early 2022, the long-running project will stabilize eroding stream banks, re-plant vegetation, and install brush mattresses.
Fairfax County’s planning staff recommends allowing Boston Properties to replace garage parking, retail, and restaurant space with office space in the next block of the massive Reston Gateway mixed-use development.
In a report released last week, the staff says they support amending the plans to permit an office building in Block D of the development. The report states that this would “maximize” unused office space and place offices closer to the impending Reston Town Center Metro station, putting them about a quarter mile from the entrance.
The proposed office building could go as high up as 44 stories. The county has already approved plans for two residential towers — potentially 12 and 36 stories tall — with below-grade parking.
In its proffer conditions amendment application, which was submitted in October, Boston Properties said that the requested changes shift previously approved density for office space in the development to Block D, which will result in “higher tax-paying square footage.”
The changes would add 78,000 square feet of office space to this block, according to a chart in the report.
However, overall square footage would drop by about 80,000 square feet, since the proposed changes would reduce residential space by about 20% and eliminate retail and restaurant uses from the block.
There will still be a parking garage, but it will change from a four-level parking garage that sits above ground-level retail to a screened, ground-level parking garage below office space.
To compensate for moving parking to street level, Boston Properties has proposed providing a sculpture, landscaping, seating and wall murals, or “a similar form of activation along the Town Center Parkway façade to foster pedestrian activity in this area.”
The staff report supports this proposal and recommends having additional elements like horizontal lighting, colored changeable lighting, and variations in building and decorative materials.
“Collectively, these design elements should provide visual activation and interest to the parking garage façade that better supports and engages the pedestrian realm with the removal of ground level retail,” the staff report says.
Block D occupies about two acres of land on the east side of Town Center Parkway between Century Street and Founders Boulevard. The development plan includes pedestrian pathways, sidewalks, and bike lanes along Town Center Parkway, along with a 700 square-foot plaza with seating, tables, benches, landscaping, and public art.
This is in keeping with the Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan‘s requirements for the Reston Town Center Station Center District, which notes that “redevelopment should create a series of urban plazas and parks to provide gathering places for people of all ages to enjoy festivals and community events.”
First approved in 2018, the 4.8 million square-foot Reston Gateway complex is now at the tail end of its first phase of development. Blocks A and B, where Fannie Mae is set to move in 2022, are mostly office space with mixed-use retail, and Block C will have a 570-room hotel plus retail and restaurants.
Block D was expected to be a parking garage with residential, retail, and restaurants, but if the Fairfax County Planning Commission approves Boston Properties’ proposed changes as scheduled on May 19, the block will now consist of office space, a smaller parking garage, and some residential units.
The first phase of Reston Gateway is slated to open in the fourth quarter of 2021.
Image via Fairfax County