A rendering of the planned Hunter Mill Road bridge over Colvin Run with an inset photo of the existing bridge (via VDOT)

Construction is now underway on the project to replace the Hunter Mill Road bridge over Colvin Run, the Virginia Department of Transportation announced yesterday (Monday).

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.

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A rendering of the planned Hunter Mill Road bridge over Colvin Run with an inset photo of the existing bridge (via VDOT)

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.

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The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in its meeting Tuesday unanimously approved the construction of a new bridge on Hunter Mill Road  over Colvin Run.

Construction of the bridge is planned to begin in spring 2021, with a completion date set for the summer of 2022.

The bridge is projected to cost $5.5 million and will be primarily funded by Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) through the State of Good Repair program. The cost was initially estimated by VDOT at $3 million in February 2019, and was anticipated to cost $5.1 million in VDOT’s May 2020 update.

Fairfax County will contribute $408,000 for pedestrian improvements south of the new bridge. The county’s contributions will fund the construction of a splitter island, median refuge, and rectangular rapid flashing beacons.

The new bridge will have two 11-foot lanes and include a three-foot-wide grass median that will match the existing roadway. It is also been designed to allow a future trail crossing over Colvin Run south of the bridge and abutments for a new trail bridge over the creek.

Traffic operations will be maintained while the bridge is built. The current one-lane bridge was built in 1974 and was ruled to be deteriorating rapidly by VDOT after an inspection in February of this year. The bridge averages 8,500 vehicles crossing it daily, according to VDOT.

The bridge was repaired in 2012 and 2016 to maintain the integrity of the structure. Further improvements were made in February to temporarily strengthen it by adding wooden beams between the bridge’s I-beams.

The construction of the bridge falls in line with the Fairfax County Transportation Plan that the Board of Supervisors adopted in 2006.  Adoption of this project came after an initial public information meeting with VDOT in April 2018, virtual public involvement in May and June of this year, and finally a virtual design public hearing in September.

During the public hearing in September, VDOT received 28 combined written and oral comments: 22 in favor of the project as presented and six supporting the project with various modifications. There were no objections to the project during the public hearing.

Photo courtesy VDOT

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A virtual public hearing to learn about and discuss a proposed replacement for the bridge on Hunter Mill Road (Route 674) over Colvin Run is set for Wednesday, Sept. 16.

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) project team is set to begin its presentation at 7 p.m., and team members will be available to answer questions after the presentation of the proposal until 8:30 p.m.

The proposed plan for the bridge – which was built in 1974 – has construction beginning in spring 2021.

Under the plan, the new bridge will replace the one-way, 16-foot-wide lane with a two-way crossing with 11-foot lanes. Plans also include a three-foot-wide grass median.

Additional items within the project include an improved trail crossing south of the bridge and abutments for a new trail bridge over Colvin Run that the county will construct at a later date.

The proposed plan for construction will maintain the existing traffic operation while the new bridge is built. During the first phase of the plan, one lane of the new bridge will be built to the east of the existing bridge. The subsequent phases will shift traffic to the newly constructed bridge while the existing bridge is demolished before the second lane of the new bridge and the median are built.

An inspection of the bridge – which carries an estimated 8,500 vehicles a day – conducted by VDOT in February deemed its condition to be deteriorating rapidly. The condition rating for the substructure of the bridge is currently a three – the condition rating scale is based from zero to nine – which is considered to be in serious condition. The superstructure for the bridge shows significant corrosion of steel girder webs and flanges.

The bridge was strengthened on a temporary basis on Feb. 28 with additional wooden beams added between the bridge’s I-beams. While the load rating of the bridge was reduced from 19 tons to 10, the width of the bridge was also reduced from a 16-foot-wide lane to 10 feet.

Previous improvements to the bridge were made in 2012 and 2016 to maintain the integrity of the structure.

While initial costs were estimated at $3 million in February 2019, the proposed plan is anticipated to cost $5.1 million. The project will be financed with state funding through the State of Good Repair program that will cover $4.7 million of the project, while Fairfax County funding is estimated at $408,000, according to VDOT’s project update in May.

Interested persons may register for the virtual meeting at virginiadot.org/huntermillcolvinrun. Anyone wishing to participate offline, without registering, may call 877-309-2074 (use access code 635-767-879) to listen in.

Any comments following the meeting on Wednesday regarding VDOT’s plan for this project must be submitted by Sept. 28, 2020, on the project website, or by mail to Mr. Vicente Valeza, P.E., Virginia Department of Transportation, 4975 Alliance Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030, or by emailing [email protected] Emails should reference “Hunter Mill Road over Colvin Run Bridge Replacement” in the subject line.

Photos courtesy VDOT

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Construction to replace the one-lane Hunter Mill Road bridge over Colvin Run is expected to begin in early 2021.

At the latest Hunter Mill District Transportation Advisory Council meeting, Steven Welch, the Virginia Department of Transportation’s assistant director of transportation and land use, said designs continue to progress.

VDOT expects to finalize designs in the winter with the goal of beginning construction as soon as possible in early 2021. The new bridge will have two lanes separated by a median.

A virtual public hearing is set for Wednesday, Setp. 16 to discuss the project.

The $5.1 million bridge will also include a new trail crossing south of the bridge, landscaping, and infrastructure for a new trail bridge over Colvin Run that the county will construct sometime in the future. Project plans are available on VDOT’s website.

Photo via VDOT

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A potentially dangerous area along the Washington & Old Dominion Trail now has improved safety.

NOVA Parks installed flashing beacons at the intersection of Hunter Mill Road and the W&OD Trail over the summer.

“When activated by trail users attempting to cross Hunter Mill Road, the push-button flashing beacons provide an additional visual indicator to oncoming drivers to slow down and watch for pedestrians and cyclists crossing the road,” said Brian Nolan, director of planning and development for NOVA Parks.

The project was completed earlier this month for roughly $80,000, Nolan told Reston Now.

Flashing beacons are a common, low-cost fix to improve safety. The Federal Highway Administration has issued interim approval to use the devices. State and local agencies must receive permission prior to installing flashing beacons.

Photo via W&OD Trail/Facebook

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Thursday Morning Notes

Hunter Mill Road Reopens After Flooding — Hunter Mill Road, which was closed in both directions at Hunter Station Road, is now open. The road closed due to high water late last night. [Fairfax County Police Department]

County Schools Looking for Teachers — Fairfax County Public Schools has begun hiring teachers and other staff for a number of positions. Two job fairs will be held on August 19. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Wiehle Pedestrian Crossing Study Group to Meet Today — The Wiehle Pedestrian Crossing Study Group will meet virtually today via Zoom at 9 p.m. [Fairfax County Government]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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As of 3:40 p.m. today, only Springvale Road is closed due to water in the roadway.

Earlier:

As storms and high winds continue to roll into the region, several local roads are closed.

Currently, the intersection at Hunter Mill Road and Hunter Station Road is closed due to water in the roadway.

Additionally, Hunter Station Road is also closed between Hunter Mill Roa and Lawyers Road due to flooding.

The Fairfax County Police Department stated that the closures were caused by last night’s wind and rain.

Photo via FCPD

This story will be updated.

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The Hunter Mill Road bridge over Colvin Run will be closed until around 3 p.m. today (Monday) after an unknown driver damaged barriers on the bridge.

According to the Virginia Department of Transportation, a driver struck the barriers on the bridge, causing drain and gravel to wash around the bridge.

Hunter Mill Road had been closed between Chamberlain Drive and Mount Sunapee Road from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. today.

“To the striking driver, enjoy your new orange paint,” VDOT tweeted today.

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Friday Morning Notes

Day Two of the 4-H Fair and Carnival Continues — Day two of the 71st annual 4-H fair and carnival continues today (Friday). Parking and admission is free all day. Carnival hours are from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4-9 p.m. [Fairfax County Government]

Swingin’ Swamis at Reston Station Plaza Tonight — Experience R&B Rock and work through dance moves tonight at Reston Station Plaza from 7-9 p.m. [Reston Station Plaza]

Hunter Mill Road Now Open — The road between Mount Sunapee Road and Hunting Crest Lane has reopened after an extended closure due to downed wires. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Meet the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority Next CEO — “When Victor Hoskins was introduced as the next president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, he tossed out some revelations and showed off his trademark enthusiasm for his chosen profession.”  [Fairfax County EDA]

Photo by vantagehill/Flickr

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Thursday Morning Notes

Frying Pan Farm Park 4-H Fair and Carnival Kicks Off — The 71st annual carnival and fair begins today (Thursday) through Sunday. More information on scheduled events is available on the event’s website. [Fairfax County Government]

Hunter Mill Road between Mt. Sunapee Road and Hunting Crest Lane Closed — The road is closed for an extended period as crews repair downed wires. It’s unclear when the road is expected to reopen. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Take a Break Concert Series at Lake Anne Plaza Tonight — IONI, a band that plays Celtic music, performs at the plaza from 7-9 p.m. today (Thursday). The concert is free and open for all ages. [Reston Community Center]

Photo by Dario Piparo

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Two roads in the Reston area are closed due to flooding, according to tweets from the Fairfax County Police Department.

Hunter Mill Road between Hunting Crest Lane and Mount Sunapee Road closed shortly before 4 p.m. today.

Fox Mill Road between Folkstone Drive and Thoroughbred Road in Herndon closed around 2 p.m.

Police advise locals to avoid the area and use alternate routes.

A Flood Watch is in effect for Fairfax County and surrounding areas until midnight, according to the National Weather Service.

More from NWS:

* Until midnight EDT tonight

* A widespread soaking rain around 2 inches is expected. Isolated amounts of around 3 inches are possible. The steadiest rain is expected through 6 pm this evening, with residual runoff possibly persisting through late this evening.

* These rainfall amounts may cause small streams and creeks to go out of their banks, as well as cause flooding of low-lying, urban and poor drainage areas.

Images via Google Maps 

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Back in December, Reston Now kicked off a “Then and Now” series to highlight how areas in Reston and Herndon have changed over the decades.

With help from Fairfax County’s Historic Imagery Viewer, which offers aerial views of the county dating back to 1937, Reston Now puts together a review of how each area has evolved.

Our look into the Lake Anne area started the series, which has since explored Reston Town Center, Reston Station and Herndon’s Elden Street — to name a few.

A tip from a Reston Now reader led us to the intersection of Hunter Mill and Hunter Station roads where a small farmhouse was recently demolished to make way for a residential development.

Last week, we highlighted the struggling Tall Oaks Village Center, which is slated for redevelopment into a mostly residential neighborhood.

Now, we want your input for our March 8 story.

Have an idea for a spot that’s not listed? Tell us in the comments section below.

Photos via Fairfax County Historic Imagery Viewer

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Normally, Reston Then and Now covers places that only exist as forests and fields in the earliest aerial photography in Fairfax County’s Historic Imagery Viewer. But this week, the intersection of Hunter Mill and Hunter Station roads has a history that predates that aerial photography.

During the Civil War, the intersection was a major crossroads for Union and Confederate troops moving through the area. According to a historical marker at the site, Confederate Brig. Gen. Wade Hampton’s cavalry brigade passed through the site in 1862 en route to Antietam in Maryland. Several Union and Confederate generals are recorded to have passed the site throughout the war.

The intersection was a critical junction of the railroad, a north-south road, water resources from Difficult Run and farmlands to provide food for troops. Several skirmishes took place in the nearby area, including the killing of Rev. John Read from Falls Church. Read was an abolitionist and supplied information on Confederate activities to the Union. He was kidnapped in a raid and executed in the forest just southeast of the crossroads by Confederate guerillas lead by Col. John S. Mosby.

The area around Hunter Mill road was its own town at one time, called Hunter’s Village, which sprung up around the route of the Washington and Old Dominion rail line. The locality contained a post office, a general store, a train station and a military hospital. The station itself was a bare-bones facility — a flag stop where passengers could step out to flag down a train.

The farmhouse at the site may have been built in 1935, and by 1937 it shows up in the first aerial photography of Fairfax.

Until recently, a little house at the intersection of Hunter Mill and Hunter Station roads stood mostly isolated — all that was left of the old Hunter’s Village — with some other properties dotting the surrounding area. Passenger service on the line ended in 1951. Freight service ended in 1968 and the railroad was abandoned.

By then, new subdivisions and a new power station started to encroach onto the site. The farmhouse was squeezed between growth spreading out from Reston to the west and Tysons to the East.

The farmhouse on the site was demolished late last year to make way for a new residential development. The site remains a popular stop on the bike and pedestrian Washington and Old Dominion Trail.

For more Reston Then and Now stories, check out our recent coverage of:

Photo via Google Maps

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Want to learn more about the history behind Hunter Mill Road? Reston Association is offering a narrated bus tour conducted by local historian and tour guide Jim Lewis in late August.

The tour will take place on August 29 from 8:30-11:30 am. Attendees will get a chance to see locations of military forts, encampments, structures, cemeteries, mill sites and old roads. The tour will also stop by Confederate earthworks.

Attendees will get on and off the bus to check out local treasures up close. Registration is $35 for RA members and $42 for all others.

File photo 

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