Reston commuters may experience delays as a new construction project begins Monday (Oct. 7).
Construction will take place between Jarrett Valley Drive and Delta Glen Court on Route 7. Drivers should expect delays and possible lane closures during the night and off-hours, according to the Virginia Department of Transporation.
There will also be work between Delta Glen Court and Reston Avenue beginning later in the fall, according to a VDOT press release. The work is apart of VDOT’s “Connect Route 7” project.
Community members who use the routes at night can expect delays from Sunday-Thursday from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m., Fridays from 1o p.m. until 9 a.m. and Saturdays from 10 p.m. until 8 a.m.
Drivers should note a reduced speed limit will be in effect between Reston Avenue and Delta Glen Court, which has been lowered to 45 miles per hour due to construction crews in the area.
Map courtesy VDOT
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority says a construction excavator hit a gas line and caused major back-ups in the area. The incident happened yesterday afternoon.
Crews worked last night to install a temporary fix to reopen the eastbound lanes. The accident also caused delays on the Fairfax Connector.
All service has resumed to normal.
The first of several planned improvements to the Route 7 Corridor is officially complete.
A third left-turn lane from westbound Route 7 to Baron Cameron Avenue opened to traffic on Monday (August 19) — the first of several traffic flow improvements planned between Reston Avenue and Jarrett Valley Drive.
The project includes other improvements like a third lane in each direction, shared-use paths on both sides, the replacement of a bridge over Difficult Run and a pedestrian underpass to access Colvin Run Mill Park.
The complete list of planned improvements is below:
Widening the road from four lanes to six lanes
Building continuous shared-use paths along eastbound and westbound Route 7
Raising the Difficult Run bridge above flood elevation
Shared-use trail under the Difficult Run bridge with minimum height clearance of twelve feet
Adding a pedestrian underpass at Colvin Run Mill Park for enhanced park access
Shifting Route 7 lanes away from Colvin Run Mill; enlarging culvert under Carpers Farm Way
Adding noise walls with architectural treatment (where reasonable/feasible per final analysis)
Adding stormwater ponds
Replacing/relocating the existing Lewinsville Road intersection with McLean Bible Church’s eastern entrance with a new displaced-left with two coordinated signals
At Towlston Road, shifting Route 7 away from Andrey Chapel Cemetery; adding right- and left-turn lanes on southbound Towlston Road
Widening Forestville Road to add southbound left- and right-turn lanes
Adding a third left-turn lane from westbound Route 7 to southbound Baron Cameron Avenue, as well as a free-flow ramp from northbound Baron Cameron Avenue to eastbound Route 7
Improving the approach angle from Utterback Store Road to Route 7
Lengthening left- and right-turn lanes from Route 7 to many side streets along the corridor; eliminating some median crossings for safety
Building new ADA-compliant sidewalk ramps
Officials estimate the project will be complete by 2024.
Until then, the speed limit along Route 7 has been reduced to 45 miles per house in active work zones between Reston Avenue and Delta Glen Court.
Photo via Virginia Department of Transportation
Lane Closures This Week — Work on phase two of the Silver Line will prompt several lane and ramp closures this week, including Herndon Parkway, Edmund Halley Drive, Sunrise Valley Drive and Sunset Hills Road. [Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project]
If Farsi Is Your Tongue — Fairfax County is seeking volunteers who speak Farsi to help older adults in the community with their groceries. Volunteers are needed in Reston twice a month on weekends or weekdays. [Fairfax County Government]
Feedback on I-95 Corridor Study Sought — “The Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment, the Virginia Department of Transportation, and the Department of Rail and Public Transportation, under the leadership of the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB), are developing a plan to study Virginia’s 179 miles of the Interstate 95 corridor between the Woodrow Wilson Bridge in Alexandria, Virginia and the North Carolina border.” [Virginia Department of Transportation]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
Drivers who hold a cellphone while passing through a Virginia road work zone could face a $250 fine.
The law — which bars drivers from holding cellphones in work zones — goes into effect today (Monday).
Gov. Ralph Northam signed the bill in April as part of a broad attempt to tackle distracted driving in the state. Currently, texting while driving is banned.
Northam is also cracking down on drivers who fail to slow down or move to the side of a road when police or firefighters pass by with flashing lights.
Additionally, children up to age eight must be secured in a child safety restraint that meets standards adopted by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Children must remain in a rear-facing carseat until the age of two or until they reach the minimum weight requirement for a forward-facing child safety seat.
Failure to follow the new law, which also went into effect today, will be considered reckless driving.
Lawmakers also approved a move that would free up the ability to increase local housing stock.
The quick fix changes how jurisdictions in the state bargain with developers for proffers or development conditions.
Reston Community Center’s Board of Governors to Hold Annual Public Hearing Tonight — Attendees will learn more about RCC’s plans for the future, including a status report on the renovation of the Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center and the center’s annual report and strategic plan. The hearing is set for 6:30 p.m. at RCC Hunters Woods. [Reston Community Center]
Flash Flood Watch In Effect Today — A flash flood watch is in effect from 2 p.m. through this evening. Widespread thunderstorms and showers are expected. [National Weather Service]
Route 7 Widening Project to Provide Traffic Relief Soon — “The $313.9 million project is designed to ease congestion on a section of Route 7 that links northern and western Fairfax County and includes the busy Tysons area, which is undergoing a massive transformation of its own. The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority provided $10 million in funding. Other money for the project comes from Fairfax County and the state.” [The Washington Post]
Overnight Closures of Dulles Toll Road and Dulles Airport Access Road Ramps Planned This Week — “The ramps from the eastbound Dulles Toll Road and the eastbound Dulles Airport Access Road to the southbound I-495 (Capital Beltway) general purpose lanes will be closed nightly Monday night, June 17 through Friday night, June 21 for bridge work as part of the Jones Branch Connector project, ” [Virginia Department of Transportation]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
Connect Route 7 Public Meeting Tonight — State transportation officials are looking for feedback on their plans to widen seven miles of Route 7 between Reston Avenue and Jarrett Valley Drive from four to six lanes. A meeting is set for tonight at 7 p.m. at Forestville Elementary School in Great Falls. [Connect Route 7]
Local Investor’s Ties to Beyond Meat — “Los Angeles-based Beyond Meat Inc. had one of the most impressive initial public offerings in nearly two decades — but it was the company’s dedication to the science behind making a non-meat burger or sausage taste good that first drew in John Backus, co-founder and managing partner of Reston-based Proof.VC. [Washington Business Journal]
Deadline Extended for Fairfax County Parkway Survey — If you haven’t yet given feedback on planned improvements on the parkway, you still have a chance to do so online. State and county transportation officials have extended the deadline of an online survey to May 20. [Fairfax County Government]
Create Giant Paper Flowers Today — Scrawl Books is hosting a Reston Community Workshop on making giant paper flowers with cardstock tonight at 6 p.m. Registration is $40 for residents and $60 for all others. [Scrawl Books]
Photo by Tom J.
Snow plows are working to clear roadways this morning after a snowstorm began earlier this morning.
A traffic camera facing westbound at the snow-covered intersection of Reston Parkway and Sunset Hills Road shows more trucks with snow plows than cars this morning.
Still, drivers can expect some slow-moving traffic on the Dulles Toll Road and major roads in Reston and Herndon with spots of congestion near intersections.
Fairfax County wants locals to stay off the roads, especially with low visibility near the Reston Parkway.
The National Weather Service’s Winter Storm Warning is in effect until 7 p.m.
The warning says that “travel will be very difficult, especially during the morning commute. The hazardous conditions could also impact the evening commute.”
The Virginia Department of Transportation wants locals to stay off of the roads. “Pockets of heavier snow may limit visibility and stick to the pavement, and a mix of freezing rain may quickly make roads slick,” VDOT said in an update at 6 a.m.
Updated at 4:55 p.m. — NWS canceled the Wind Advisory that was set to last until 6 p.m.
Earlier: After last night’s heavy congestion during rush hour, commuters are finding little to no traffic on major Reston roads this morning (Jan. 30).
Traffic on the Dulles Toll Road is flowing freely, according to Google Maps. However, drivers should still give themselves extra travel time for possibly icy local roads.
“Your commute will take longer today,” Fairfax County tweeted this morning, adding that crews worked overnight to treat roads and will continue treatment today if needed. Drivers are encouraged to reduce their speeds, use headlights and not brake quickly.
Be aware of black ice this morning! Please drive with caution. Your #FCFRD firefighters and paramedics don’t want to meet you by (preventable) “accident” today! 🚙🚗#snow #fairfaxcounty #traffic #vatraffic pic.twitter.com/t6g6nrA64K
— Fairfax Fire/Rescue (@ffxfirerescue) January 30, 2019
Anybody stepping outside today should also bundle up. The National Weather Service issued a Wind Advisory until 6 p.m. tonight and a Wind Chill Advisory between 9 p.m. tonight and 10 a.m. tomorrow (Jan. 31).
More from the National Weather Service:
WIND CHILL ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 9 PM THIS EVENING TO 10 AM EST THURSDAY…
* WHAT…Very cold wind chills of 5 to 10 degrees below zero.
* WHERE…Portions of central Maryland and northern Virginia including Washington DC and Baltimore MD.
* WHEN…From 9 PM this evening to 10 AM EST Thursday.
* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…The cold wind chills could result in hypothermia if precautions are not taken.
A Wind Chill Advisory means that cold air and the wind will combine to create low wind chills. Frostbite and hypothermia can occur if precautions are not taken. Dress in layers, and wear a hat and gloves.
Fairfax County Government offices are open today, however, employees have been granted unscheduled leave. Fairfax County public schools are closed today. Reston Association offices will open three hours late.
A meeting seeking public input on the Fairfax Connector has been canceled for tonight and will be rescheduled.
Locals have been busy snapping photos of the snow around Reston, including the following.
— Darren O'Connor (@mellowdrifter) January 30, 2019
Updated at 11:09 a.m. — The previously closed northbound lanes of Route 602 are now open, Fairfax County police confirmed.
An accident involving two vehicles on Route 602 by Bowman Towne Drive is causing lane closures and delays.
Both northbound lanes on Route 602 (Reston Parkway) are closed at Bowman Towne Drive.
So far there have been no reports of serious injuries.
Units on scene of a two vehicle crash on Reston Parkway at Bowman Towne Drive in Reston. Both lanes of NB Reston Parkway are closed at Bowman Towne Drive for unknown time. #fcfrd #traffic #vatraffic pic.twitter.com/dVwD0QJ9lP
— Fairfax Fire/Rescue (@ffxfirerescue) December 12, 2018
Map via VDOT
This story has been updated
Pedestrian and bicyclist safety is on the radar of local police at the Reston District Station, particularly as the area becomes more urbanized.
In response to an increase in accidents involving vehicles and pedestrians during the summer, local police officers launched a public safety campaign. Although the campaign was focused on educating the public instead of enforcing violations, local police offered tips about safety, including obeying traffic signals and using traffic laws, to more than 1,000 residents.
The public safety campaign ran from June 4 through the end of the summer following the death of a 71-year-old pedestrian who was hit by a car in May. Police officers met with hundreds of residents to promote pedestrian safety and distribute literature in order to reduce accidents.
Accidents between pedestrians and cars have become more frequent, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.
FCPD’s first priority was areas where pedestrian and car accidents have happened in the past. Other areas that were targeted have heavy traffic and pedestrian crosswalks, Sgt. Aaron Pfeiff told Reston Now.
“The public was very appreciative of the officer’s efforts and it was noticed that more pedestrians and bicyclist were obeying traffic signals and using crosswalks,” Pfeiff said.
Pfeiff identified the following intersections where officers focused their efforts:
- Georgetown Pike/Walker Rd
- Bluemont Way/Library St
- Reston Pkwy/New Dominion Dr
- Sunset Hills Rd/Michael Faraday Dr
- Sunset Hills Rd/Isaac Newton Dr
- Sunset Hills Rd/Whiele Ave
- Parcher Ave/Centreville Rd
- Coppermine Rd/Thomas Jefferson Dr
- Hunter Mill Rd/Hunter Station
- Sunrise Valley Dr/Cross School Rd
Photo via FCPD
Pushed by McLean residents concerned about rush hour traffic, state transportation officials are considering plans to close an on-ramp from Georgetown Pike to the Capital Beltway.
But some Reston residents, particularly those who commute to Maryland, said they feel sidelined by the process, which they say would significantly increase traffic on the Beltway during peak rush hour.
“Every community would like less traffic, noise, disturbances but if we give special treatment to one community than the same should be given to another and in trying to improve traffic, this idea produces more traffic and costs to drivers and begins a program of treating communities differently,” said Kevin Sullivan, a Reston resident.
Sullivan said he was especially concerned because he feels many area residents are not aware of the possible ramp closure. He also said the closure would force some commuters to opt for routes with more tolls.
The Virginia Department of Transportation could close the ramp from Virginia Route 193 and Georgetown Pike to the Inner Loop between 1 and 7 p.m. on weekdays only. The closure would go into effect for a pilot period of four months. State officials will monitor the closure’s effect on local and Beltway traffic prior to making a final decision about the closure.
Eliani Korawajczuk, a Herndon resident, worries the closure will divert traffic onto Route 7 in order to access George Washington Parkway.
“It is already [a] painful return from Maryland… Now imagine what will happen if nobody has options,” Korawajczuk said.
“Why can we have more traffic and McLean residents don’t?” she added.
A public meeting on the proposal is set for 7 p.m. on August 2 at McLean High School. Requests for comment from Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins were not returned.
An additional $40 million is being sought to begin widening a seven-mile stretch of Route 7 between Reston Avenue and Jarrett Valley Drive.
State officials’ estimates of the overall $278 million project came in $95 million above the amount originally anticipated by the proposal. The project has been bid and is ready for construction, pending the approval of additional funding.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will consider approving funding at their June 19 meeting.
Once the funding gap has been bridged, construction will begin to widen Route 7 from four to six lanes with intersection improvements and the addition of a shared-use path on both sides of the roadway. County and state officials said the project is necessary to reduce congestion, improve safety and boost mobility for bicyclists and pedestrians.
Officials said the project came in nearly $1 million above estimates due to the competitive market generated by ongoing construction in Northern Virginia, several challenging utility relocations (including a $200 million upgrade project by Washington Gas) and the more than 230 property transactions required to ensure right-of-way.
The county is considering pitching in $23 million in funding that was not previously allocated by the board. Dollars will be drawn from the following project: Route 123’s widening ($13 million), Frying Pan road widening ($3 million) and a park and ride expansion at the Lorton VRE ($690,470). The Virginia Department of Transportation will provide up to $40 million in state funding.
According to 2011 traffic counts provided by VDOT, the stretch of Route 7 carries between 46,000 and 54,000 vehicles per day. That number is expected to increase to 73,000 to 86,000 by 2040, VDOT says.
Map via VDOT
Lawyers Road is now open between Hunter Mill Road and Lydia Place in the Vienna area of Fairfax County, according to an alert by the Fairfax County Police Department.
The section of the road was closed around 9:20 a.m. today as state crews cleared the roadway of debris.
This story has been updated.
Photo via FCPD
The funding request for the $169.2 million project comes roughly five years after the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a hybrid design for the project, which will provide an additional overpass over the Dulles Toll Road and ease traffic on south Reston roads.
Major development in the Wiehle-Reston East area, including Comstock’s Reston Station mixed use project, is expected to generate additional traffic on area roadways.
Local and state officials have long identified the need for the project, which aims to alleviate bottlenecks along Wiehle Avenue at Sunset Hills Road and Sunrise Valley Drive and improve connectivity for pedestrians and bicyclists to the Wiehle-East Metrorail Station.
According to preliminary plans, the new road will include a three-lane cross section with one travel lane in each direction and a two-way, left-turn-only lane. Other features include five-foot wide bicycle lanes on each side, a five-foot wide sidewalk on the west side and a 10-foot wide path on the east side.
Construction is not anticipated until after 2023. Additional design, engineering and environmental work is expected to continue through 2022. In 2014, the county’s board placed the project on its list of high priority projects for 2015 to 2020.
A funding gap of $25 million remains to complete the project. Requests to the Commonwealth Transportation Board have been made. Construction is expected to cost $45 million.
The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority will review the request, which is one of 60 candidate transportation projects in the area. NVATA is seeking public comment on the project on May 10 at 3040 Williams Drive, Suite 100 in Fairfax. Online comments can be submitted through Sunday, May 20.