Police: Flooding Closes Hunter Mill, Fox Mill Roads

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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Poll: Where Should Reston Now’s ‘Then and Now’ Series Look Next?

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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Reston Then and Now: The Old Farmhouse at Hunter Mill Crossroads

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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Hunter Mill Road Historical Tour Set for Late August

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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Monday Morning Notes

Flood warning in effect — A warning is in effect for several areas in Northern Virginia through 11:45 a.m.. [Fairfax County Police Department]

A bridge to somewhere — State officials plan to replace the aging bridge on Hunter Mill Road over Colvin Run. A informational meeting is set for today at 6:30 p.m. in Reston. [Virginia department of Transportation]

A white knight — Reston-based SOSi acquired STG Inc. for $83 million, positioning the company to expand technology and cyber services in the national security and diplomacy arena. [Washington Technology]

Thoroughly awesome? — Reston Community Players’ new performance, Thoroughly Modern Millie, debuts this Friday. The show is based on the 1967 Academy Award-winning film. [DC Metro Theater Arts]

Flickr pool photo via vantagehill

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Maryland Man Killed in Reston Crash on Saturday

A 23-year-old man from Maryland died Saturday morning after his car hit a traffic signal pole, according to information released by the Fairfax County Police Department today (March 26).

Police believe Johnny Nony Souvannavong of Upper Marlboro, Md. was driving his Subaru eastbound on Baron Cameron Avenue near Hunter Mill Road when his car’s tire went off into the roadway.

Souvannavong lost control of the car, which crossed over to the eastbound lanes, the center median and westbound lanes. The car then crashed into a traffic signal pole.

The driver was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The crash is still under investigation. Speed may be a factor, according to the police department’s crash reconstruction unit.

File photo

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Replacement Sought for Aging Hunter Mill Road Bridge

A plan is underway to replace an aging bridge on Hunter Mill Road over Colvin Run.

The $3 million project would expand the bridge from one to two lanes and include four-feet-wide shoulders. The number of vehicles that pass over the bridge is expected to increase from 7,200 to 11,000 vehicles per day by 2043, according to state estimates.

The replacement project has been contemplated by state and local officials for nearly 20 years.

The Virginia Department of Transportation is seeking public input on the project on April 16 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Forest Ridge Elementary School (1501 Becontree Lane). A presentation on the project will begin at 7 p.m.

Construction will likely begin in the spring of 2021. The bridge is expected to be completed by the summer of 2022. It has a sufficiency rating of 23.5 out of 100, a measure that determines the likelihood of a bridge to remain in service.

Photos courtesy of VDOT

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Plans to Calm Traffic on Hunter Mill Road Move Forward

Relief could be on the way soon for drivers who frequent Hunter Mill Road near the Dulles Toll Road.

Last night, the Fairfax County Planning Commission approved long awaited plans to tackle traffic backups by realigning Sunset Hills Road to Crowell Road.

The plan also includes adding a roundabout as an intersection control. Hunter Mill Road would become a four-lane road between the intersection of Crowell Road and Sunset Hills Road to the Dulles Toll Road’s westbound ramps.

John Carter, the Hunter Mill District’s planning commissioner, compared the new plan to George Washington Parkway. Conceding the comparison was imperfect, he said the changes feature sweeping curves, major setbacks of 400 feet from houses to the road and a commitment to preserve a pond and a forested resource protection area.

The plan passed by the commission includes several amendments to address concerns raised by the Hunter Mill Defense League and the Hunting Crest Homeowners Association. Changes include:

  • Beginning realignment to the east of the Edlin School and extending no farther than Crowell Road
  • Maximizing the distance between the realigned road and the Hunting Crest community
  • The inclusion of a roundabout as a preferred alternative
  • Modifying transportation maps to include a cul-de-sac on Hunter Mill Road

The county’s Board of Supervisors will hear public comment on the plan on March 6 at around 4 p.m.

Since 2014, the county held several community meetings to lay out traffic management alternatives. The latest plan is a mix of several options, but departs from previously discussed plans, which the county indicated no longer work.

Carter said the county’s studies clearly indicate the current plan is the “better method to calm traffic in this area.”

Photo via handout

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Public Meeting on Sunset Hills Road Realignment Today — Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins and the Fairfax County Department of Transportation will hold a meeting today at 7 p.m. at Sunrise Valley Elementary School (10824 Cross School Road). Plans aim to address traffic backups on Hunter Miller Road near the Dulles Toll Road. [Fairfax County Government]

Suspects in Five Killings Reportedly Linked to Macabre Neo-Nazi Group — The Atomwaffen, a relatively new neo-Nazi outfit that defines itself as a “revolutionary national socialist organization centered around political activism and the practice of an autonomous fascist lifestyle” is reportedly linked to the Reston murder of Scott Fricker, 48, and Buckley Kuhn-Fricker, 43, in late December. [The Washington Post]

Seasonal Jobs Available at Reston Association — Reston Association is hiring season staff. To view current openings, visit RA’s website. [Reston Today]

Shadow Puppets Show on Friday — Children can play with light and shadows at the Walker Nature Center on Friday from 10-11 a.m. The cost is $6 for Reston members and $8 for all others. Parents and caregivers must supervisor their children. [Reston Association]

Photo by Fatimah Waseem

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New Plan Underway to Control Traffic on Hunter Mill Road

After years of discussion, Fairfax County officials are finalizing long awaited plans to tackle traffic backups on Hunter Mill Road near the Dulles Toll Road.

The Fairfax County Dept. of Transportation plans to realign Sunset Hills Road to Crowell Road, with a roundabout as the intersection control, according to a proposal filed last month. The Fairfax County Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the plans today at 7:30 p.m.

Hunter Mill Road would be widened to four lanes between the intersection of Crowell Road and Sunset Hills Road to the Dulles Toll Road’s westbound ramps. The four-lane section would use existing right-of-way and pavement along Hunter Mill Road.

The plan departs from six alternatives discussed during six community charrettes since 2014. County officials found that no alternative would adequately reduce congestion during peak hours, according to the proposal.

Originally, the county hoped to shift the Sunset Hills Road intersection by moving it opposite the westbound off-ramp for the Dulles Toll Road and relocate the on-ramp to begin at Sunset Hills Road west of Hunter Mill Road. But a Metrorail track power substation is now being built at that site.

A second option would have relocated Sunset Hills Road by bringing the intersection of Sunset Hills Road and Hunter Mill Road as close as possible to Reston Presbyterian Church. That option would not provide enough space between the intersections. A third option with roundabout in the area  would have required the church to relocate.

The proposed solution would address traffic congestion and the roundabout feature meets the community’s desire to “calm” traffic to the north of Crowell Road, according to the plan.

The road realignment was prompted in response to increased traffic congestion driven by new development.

Currently, morning and afternoon traffic along Sunset Hills Road near the westbound Dulles Toll Road causes daily traffic congestion at the intersection of Sunset Hills Road and Hunter Mill Road.

A hearing before the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is set for March 6 at 4 p.m.

Photo via Fairfax County Department of Transportation

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Fairfax County Officials Seek Input on Prioritizing Unfunded Transportation Projects

Fairfax County Department of Transportation officials are seeking public input on nearly 300 transportation projects that are vying for roughly $100 million in funding.

Local residents can provide feedback on proposed projects at a public meeting on Thursday, Oct. 12 from 7-9 p.m. at the North County Governmental Center (1801 Cameron Glen Drive). The meeting will include a formal presentation about unfunded projects and a question-and-answer session.

Residents can also take an online survey by Nov. 9 to indicate preferred projects, or mail a printed copy of the survey to the Fairfax County Department of Transportation (4050 Legato Road, Suite 400, Fairfax, VA 22033).

Feedback will allow the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and the Fairfax County Department of Transportation to prioritize unfunded transportation projects in line for funding through fiscal year 2023, according to the county’s website.

Unfunded projects in Reston include those listed below:

  • Installation of roundabout at the intersection of Sunset Hills and Hunter Mill Road ($73.1 million)
  • The extension and addition of the grid of streets in the Reston Transit Station area ($500,000)
  • Construction of turn lanes and installation of a traffic signal in the area of Fox Mill Road and Pinecrest Road. ($1.7 million)
  • Extension of southbound left turn lane on Reston Parkway at Temporary Road ($280,000)
  • Addition of left turn lane and traffic signal on Lawyers Road at Twin Branches Road ($1.7 million)
  • Construction of a bike and pedestrian trail on Baron Cameron Drive from Cameron Heath Drive to Gatesmeadow Way. ($1.5 million)
  • Addition of walkway on Center Harbor Road from Heritage Oak Way to North Village ($1.4 million)
  • Addition of bike lanes or trail on Lawyers Road from existing bike lanes to Twin Branches Road ($5 million)
  • Addition of bike lanes or trail on Lawyers Road from Twin Branches Road to Hunter Mill Road ($7.5 million)
  • Expansion of Reston Capital Bikeshare ($500,000)
  • Construction of sidewalk on Ridge Heights Road from Lakewinds Drive to South Lakes Drive ($600,000)
  • Construction of walkway on the south side of South Lakes Drive from Pine Cone Court to Tanbark Drive. ($1.5 million)
  • Installation of bike lanes on South Lakes Drive from Reston Parkway to Sunrise Valley Drive ($5 million)
  • Addition of walkway on the east side of South Lakes Drive from Thoreau Place to Sunrise Valley Drive ($550,000)
  • Addition of shared use pathway or bike lanes on Wiehle Avenue from Baron Cameron Avenue to Reston Station Boulevard ($12 million)

Other projects of local interest include:

  • Construct sidewalk on north side of Fox Mill Road (Herndon) from Monroe Street to Greg Roy Lane ($600,000)
  • Roadway widening from West Ox Road to Fairfax County Parkway (To be determined)
  • Addition of pedestrian refuge islands on Beulah Road from the entrance of Wolf Trap Elementary School to Talisman Drive (To be determined)

Countywide projects include:

  • Improvements on two existing bus routes in the Herndon and Centreville Road areas ($1.3 million)
  • Addition of five new recommended bus routes that provide north-south and east-west connections ($55.6 million)
  • Expansion of the Tysons Capital Bikeshare ($500,000)
  • Completion of identified bike roadway spots. ($1.1 million)

All project costs are based on estimates.

For more information, call 703-877-5600 or email [email protected].

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Continued Heavy Rain Has County Crews Monitoring Roadways

(Updated at 2:30 p.m. after Lawyers Road was reported to be reopened.)

Lawyers Road between Hunter Mill Road and Galloping Way was blocked off for several hours Friday as steady rain pounded the area.

According to an alert from Fairfax County, that area was being monitored by county crews as water levels continued to increase. The road was closed from about 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

At the Hunter Mill Road/Lawyers Road intersection, barriers were placed blocking eastbound turns onto Lawyers Road.

In addition, Fox Mill Road was closed in Herndon at Thoroughbred Road because of high water.

A flood warning is in effect for the central portion of Fairfax County, including the City of Fairfax, until 5:15 p.m. Friday.

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Meeting for Potential Buyers of Hunter Mill Properties Set for Thursday

Hunter Mill Assemblage/ARA Newmark

An investment advisory firm has scheduled a Thursday informational meeting for those interested in purchasing up to 68 acres of land off Hunter Mill Road near the Dulles Toll Road.

ARA Newmark is advertising two properties in what it is calling the Hunter Mill Assemblage — 46 acres west of Hunter Mill Road and 22 acres east — for possible residential or other development. The property west of the road borders Sunset Hills Road to the south, while the property east of the road abuts the Dulles Toll Road. The latter is the former home of the Golf Park at Hunter Mill.

According to an email from ARA Newmark advertising the meeting, the properties are the last unplanned parcels on the Toll Road and offer “unparalled development opportunity” to a buyer or buyers:

“After a multigenerational family ownership, these Properties will be offered to the open market for the first time. [The Hunter Mill Assemblage], consisting of two tracts of 46 and 22 acres, is located on the north side of The Dulles Toll Road on both the East and West sides of Hunter Mill Road. The tracts are being offered separately but may be purchased together.”

The land was owned for decades by the Thoburn family.

ARA Newmark says the land’s usage could include residential development, mixed-use development, an assisted-living facility, a religious institution, a private school or something else. According to the material from ARA Landmark, offers to buy the properties must be in by April 21.

Property behind the former golf park site is already seeing heavy construction work, as it will soon become the new campus of Oakcrest School, a private girls’ school. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints also has plans for a 16,500-square foot church at the intersection with Crowell Road. Defense contractor General Dynamics is also putting its new headquarters nearby on Sunset Hills Road.

Roundabouts are being considered for several intersections along Hunter Mill Road to handle increasing congestion in the area.

The meeting, which is limited to qualified buyers who have signed a confidentiality agreement, is scheduled for Thursday at 10 a.m. at 1420 Spring Hill Road in Tysons.

Map via ARA Newmark

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Longtime Family Land Off Hunter Mill Road For Sale for Possible Development

Golf Park at Hunter MillThe firm that is advertising Reston National Golf Course to developers also has plans for a pair of Hunter Mill Road properties.

The Washington Business Journal reports that 68 acres at the Reston/Vienna line, 46 west of the road and 22 east, are being pitched by investment advisory firm ARA Newmark for possible residential or other development.

The property west of the road borders Sunset Hills Road to the south, while the property east of the road abuts the Dulles Toll Road. The latter is the former home of the Golf Park at Hunter Mill, over which owner John Thoburn was infamously jailed by Fairfax County in 2001 due to a landscaping dispute.

The driving range closed in early 2015. Thoburn’s family had owned the land for more than four decades, the WBJ reports, until it was acquired by private lenders through foreclosure last year.

Property behind the former golf park site is already seeing heavy construction work, as it will soon become the new campus of Oakcrest School, a private girls’ school. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints also has plans for a 16,500-square foot church at the intersection with Crowell Road. Roundabouts are being considered for that and several other intersections along Hunter Mill Road to handle increasing congestion in the area.

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Zoning Appeals Board Listens to Pros, Cons of Church on Crowell Road

crowell at Hunter Mill1The Fairfax County Board of Zoning Appeals will continue to hear testimony on Wednesday regarding the the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints’ request to build a 16,558-square-foot church on the Reston/Vienna border.

The church has filed a special permit exception to build the structure at Crowell and Hunter Mill Roads. The special permit exception would allow the church to build a place of worship on land designated residential.

Because it is a special permit, the church would not have to go through the Fairfax County Planning Commission or the Board of Supervisors for final approval.

After several postponements over the summer, the BZA heard a first round of testimony last Wednesday, with several speakers falling on both sides of the issue.

Several said the church — which plans 292 seats, a 30-foot roofline and a 70-foot steeple — has a relatively small footprint, and would mostly be in use on Sundays, when traffic backups on Hunter Mill are less likely.

“It is important we all support religious freedom, said John Thoburn, a Hunter Mill resident whose family also formerly owned much of the nearby land (including the former driving range where the new Oakcrest School is under construction).

However, nearby resident Bruce Bennett said the latest plans for the project no longer show a roundabout to control traffic in the mostly residential neighborhood. He said that “just one abject failure in this special permit process that in and of itself is sufficient justification for a complete denial of this application.”

“It has been totally removed and in its place a weasel-worded commitment that is no commitment at all and in fact may have eviscerated the original transportation agreement,” Bennett told the BZA.

Other speakers took issue with the application’s standard of a minimum of 233 parking spaces for the church. They want assurances that the maximum number of spaces would not grow exponentially.

“I have a concern that there is going to be a sea of asphalt,” said one speaker. “This is not a megachurch. Five hundred people on the site at one time is in excess for a low-density neighborhood.”

See all of last week’s testimony on this video on Fairfax County’s website. Additional testimony is scheduled for 9 a.m. Sept. 21 at the Fairfax County Government Center.

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