Plans to extend Soapstone Drive could move forward as Fairfax County officials seek public comment tonight on the project, which would create an additional crossing on the Dulles Toll Road for cars, pedestrians and cyclists.
At Dogwood Elementary School (12300 Glade Drive) from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., the floor will be open for the public to comment on a environmental assessment completed as part of a multi-step process since the Board of Supervisors approved the project in 2014. The study examines the potential effects of the project for properties listed in or eligible for the National Register of Historical Places, the country’s official list of historic sites worthy of preservation.
The new roadway will provide a half-mile extension between Sunrise Valley Drive and Sunset Hills Road and a new crossing over the Dulles Corridor. County officials have said the project is necessary to tackle congestion on Wiehle Avenue, limited access for buses to Wiehle-Reston East Station and the lack of connectivity for pedestrians and bicyclists in the area.
Completed in August, the assessment reviews impacts of the project on surrounding land. For example, the assessment finds the project rests within 200 feet of on two sites with hazardous materials and would result in increased noise for two areas near the project.
Overall, the assessment concludes the project will not “contribute substantially to cumulative impacts, particularly in light of the efforts to minimize adverse impacts of the project and other mitigation measures to be implemented.”
Following the public hearing, the county will revise the assessment as needed and submit it to the Federal Highway Administration, the body which will make a decision about the feasibility of the project.
In 2014, the county’s supervisors included $2.5 million for the preliminary design of this project as part of its Six Year Transportation Project Priorities. At that time, they also put the project — estimated to cost $91.75 million — on the county’s list of high-priority projects for 2015-20.
More information on the project is available on the county’s website. Written or oral comments may be submitted at the hearing or in writing within 10 days after the hearing to [email protected]. Include “Soapstone Connector” in the subject line.
According to VDOT’s website, more than 1,300 miles of roads will be repaved in Fairfax, Prince William, Loudoun and Arlington counties during the 2017 paving season. Among the scheduled projects are the following locations in Reston:
- the entire length of North Shore Drive (3.53 miles)
- the entire length of Colts Neck Road (1.82 miles), excluding the intersection with Glade Drive
- 1.93 miles of Glade Drive, from Glade Bank Way to Twin Branches Road
- 2.21 miles of Stuart Mill Road, from Fox Mill Road to Birdfoot Lane
- 1.07 miles of North Village Road, from Baron Cameron Avenue to Hollow Timber Way
- the entire length of Twin Branches Road (.85 miles)
- the entire length of Triple Crown Road (.43 miles)
- .13 miles of Wiehle Avenue, from Reston Parkway to Reston Avenue
In addition, the Fairfax County Department of Transportation has plans to make alterations to lane patterns and bike lanes on North Shore Drive, Colts Neck Road and Twin Branches Road as part of the repaving process. A community meeting on this issue is scheduled for March 16.
VDOT’s website shows the only repaving work completed in Reston in 2016 was along a stretch of Baron Cameron Avenue, from Leesburg Pike (Route 7) to near Browns Chapel Road.
Other roads in the area on the 2017 schedule include portions of Centreville Road, Frying Pan Road and McLearen Road in Herndon; and Lee Jackson Memorial Highway (U.S. Route 50) at the Fairfax County Parkway interchange.
VDOT says repaving work is “usually limited to outside of rush hours,” with work in residential areas typically scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays.
Check VDOT’s interactive map for more.
Map via VDOT
Roads in Good Shape for Morning Commute — The Virginia Department of Transportation says overnight winds assisted road crews by drying most of the region, but low pavement temperatures will quickly refreeze any additional moisture. [VDOT]
Animal Protection Police Come to the Rescue — The Fairfax County Police Department shared a photo Thursday of a raccoon that got tangled up while trying to get into a bird feeder in Reston. Police said “No harm, no fowl!” — [Fairfax County Police Department/Twitter]
RA Committees to Meet Next Week — The Reston Association meeting schedule for the week of Feb. 13-17 includes meetings of the Board Governance, Elections, 55+ Advisory, Covenants and Multimodal Transportation Advisory committees. [Reston Association]
The Reston advisory group looking at ways to raise $2.6 billion to fund Reston road improvements over the next 40 years says it is strongly opposed to a special tax district for new development in Reston’s transit station areas.
The Reston Network Analysis Advisory Group (RNAG) last month approved a document containing high level feedback on the funding plan. It will provide an update to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors’ Transportation Committee on Tuesday.
Public revenues should be responsible for the roadway improvements and private revenues would be responsible for intersection and grid improvements.
Tax Districts should be removed from further discussion — there is unanimity from the group that a tax district is unrealistic and should be taken off the table.
The transit areas are expected to see the greatest level of development — and will need the most street grid, lane additions and traffic signals, among other improvements — as Reston grows over the next three decades.
FCDOT’s Janet Nguyen has said $1.34 billion in transportation projects will likely come from shared public and private contributions. That money would go for road widening, intersection improvements, the Soapstone overpass, and an Dulles Toll Road underpass near Reston Town Center, among other projects.
The $1.28 billion grid network in the transit station areas — which the RNAG is currently studying — would mostly be funded by developers (and a possible service district, not a special tax district. A service district is imposed by the Board of Supervisors on a geographic area.). An urban grid is important to improve walkability and slow traffic, transportation officials say.
The county and RNAG have been looking at a variety of scenarios to fund the projects. Among the suggestions has been creating a tax district similar to the Metro special tax district or a service district, similar to Tysons (rate is .05 cents per $100 of tax assessment).
A service district is established by the Board of Supervisors and does not need to be approved by residents.
The Board of Supervisors hopes to approve a funding plan by late 2016 or early 2017.
See the Tuesday presentation prepared by FCDOT on the Fairfax County website.
See a list of expected big-ticket Reston road projects below.
The Virginia Department of Transportation has launched a new website that can tell you which roads near you are undergoing — or will be undergoing — construction and repairs.
The interactive portal, www.Virginiaroads.org, provides a one-stop information source to VDOT data and projects, Virginia Gov. Terry McAullife said in announcing the project.
From the office of the governor:
An important feature of this new portal are interactive maps showing current and planned road construction projects included in the Six-Year Improvement Program as well as pavement conditions and resurfacing projects. Some of the data made available through this app is in response to requests by Virginia broadband providers to have greater visibility and earlier notice regarding road construction and repair projects. Providing access to this data will facilitate coordination between VDOT and broadband providers seeking to build new infrastructure.
“Virginiaroads.org is a prime example of the type of project I envisioned when we launched our Data. Virginia initiative aimed at using data to make government more transparent,” said Gov. McAuliffe. “It’s as simple as clicking on the link, selecting a location and seeing in a glance the status of current and future transportation projects. The information is easily accessible and open for to the public to see how their taxpayer dollars are being invested to improve Virginia’s road system.”
Virginiaroads.org features a series of interactive maps in a central online location. Maps display current construction projects, projects in the design phase, projects scheduled to go to construction and future projects. Projects can be searched via project stage, location, route or street name and the project identification number as it is listed in the Six-Year Improvement Program.
Another map shows pavement conditions, with colors identifying whether a section of pavement is in excellent, good, fair or poor condition. You can click on a section of pavement to find out more details on resurfacing projects.
Other maps on the site
- 511 real-time traffic information
- Park and ride lots
- Snow plowing status
- Virginia toll facilities
- Major road construction
- Highway safety corridors
- Truck routes
- Scenic roads
- Bicycling maps
- Capital trail
- State maps
- City maps