VDOT is Behind on Grass Cutting in Reston

Unwieldy grass along medians and roads maintained by VDOT could become more of an eyesore until mid-June.

A spokeswoman for VDOT told Reston Now that the department delayed awarding a mowing contract after a potential bidder asked for clarification on a section of the call for bids.

“When this happens, state regulations require at least 10 days before closing so the bid was extended,” said VDOT spokeswoman Jenni McCord.

Bids are expected to close on June 11, after which VDOT will make a decision on the contract.

In the meantime, McCord said VDOT is working to schedule crews to mow areas in Reston.

Historically, VDOT has contracted with RA to mow medians. Without a contract with VDOT, RA cannot mow areas maintained by VDOT.

It’s unclear if the association will get the contract this year.

Hank Lynch, RA’s CEO, said he shares members’ concerns about the lack of maintenance on the roadways.

Routine mowing of the medians not only provides better aesthetics, but it also makes traveling along roadways safer. We will continue to work with VDOT and are poised to perform the mowing quickly and to RA standards if and when the state legally permits us to do so,” Lynch wrote in a statement.

Others pointed to longterm maintenance issues with VDOT’s repaving of roads in Reston.

A resident of the Polo Fields neighborhood near the Herndon-Monroe Park and Ride said roads have not been paved and potholes have not been filled for years.

A community representative has been in touch with VDOT about the issue for at least two years.

The neighborhood hasn’t heard back about maintenance concerns.

Photos via K. Malaika Walton

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Pedestrian Walkway Improvements Planned on Sunrise Valley Drive

Two federally funded projects are in the works to improve the walkability of Sunrise Valley Drive.

The county plans to widen an asphalt trail on the north side of the road to 10 feet and install a new asphalt trail that will later be incorporated into a planned cycle track for the Sunrise Valley Drive corridor. That track will separate bikes from the pedestrian walkway, according to county spokeswoman.

On the south side of Sunrise Valley Drive, the county plans to install a five-foot concrete sidewalk. Currently, no walkway exists for pedestrians.

“There’s currently very narrow trails in that area or nothing at all,” Tom Biesiadny, director of the Fairfax County Department of Transportation, said. “It’s not in great shape.”

Construction for both projects is expected to cost $1.5 million. The county anticipates receiving a contract award in July and construction is expected to begin later this year.

The projects are intended to improve access to the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station from surrounding communities.

Map (for reference only) via FCDOT

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Crime Roundup: Maryland Teen Arrested in Carjacking on Sunrise Valley Drive

A 17-year-old from Maryland was arrested in connection with a carjacking on Sunrise Valley Drive last week.

On Monday, May 13, police say that a masked suspect pointed a shotgun at a man who was putting air into his car’s tires and demanded the keys.

The suspect drove away in the stolen car, but police caught up with him a short while later.

The teen was caught with the help of the police’s K9 team, according to the Fairfax County Police Department. He was charged with carjacking and the use of a firearm in commission of a felony.

In a separate incident, a man entered a home on the 2600 block of New Concorde Court on Wednesday, May 15 at around 3:50 a.m.

Residents discovered the man in their garage after they heard the garage door open. The man ran away when one resident confronted him.

Nothing was reported missing, police said.

FCPD also reported the following incidents in recent days:

LARCENIES:

11300 block of Chestnut Grove Square, documents from vehicle

2200 block of Quartermaster Lane, bicycle from residence

2600 block of William Short Circle, bicycle from residence

11600 block of Windbluff Court, license plates from vehicle

STOLEN VEHICLES:

2500 block of Brenton Point Drive, 2015 Vespa motorcycle

File photo

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Building Demolition Planned on 11501 Sunrise Valley Drive Next Month

Plans for a 75-unit assisted living facility are coming closer to reality on 11501 Sunrise Valley Drive next month.

The demolition of the building is scheduled for May 1, according to Dan Gorham, founding partner of Kensington Senior Living. Construction is expected to begin soon after and could take between 16 and 18 months, followed by several weeks for licensing and permitting, Gorham told Reston Now.

The project could be completed as early as the end of next year, Gorham estimated. It will consist of a 66,200 square foot building. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved the project in February last year.

The site is home to the Ivy Preparatory School. County permits processed on April 5 indicated the school could locate to 1441 Wiehle Avenue. The owners of the school did not immediately respond to a request for comment and an office person declined to release details on when or where the school will relocate.

Photo via Fairfax County Government/handout

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Valley and Park Townhomes Aiming to Get Finished by 2021

Work on a new townhome community is on schedule to add to the growing residential options along Sunrise Valley Drive.

Construction crews are currently framing the 54 open-concept townhomes Toll Brothers’ Valley and Park development, a Toll Brother spokeswoman told Reston Now.

The spokeswoman said that the project is “currently on schedule” with anticipated completion in 2021.

When asked about the sign on the site that says the development is “opening early 2019,” the spokeswoman responded that Toll Brothers expects a late spring or early summer opening.

Work started on the project in 2017 when trucks tore down a six-story office building that was on the site at 11720 Sunrise Valley Drive, which is close to both the Wiehle-Reston East and the future Reston Town Center Metro stations.

The four different townhome plans all feature three bedrooms, two full bathrooms and three half bathrooms and are priced in the upper-$700,000s, according to Toll Brothers.

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Photos: Work Underway for Valley and Park Townhomes Along Sunrise Valley Drive

Construction crews are busy working on a new townhome community that will turn part of Sunrise Valley Drive into a bustling residential area.

Work started on the project in 2017 when trucks tore down a six-story office building that was on the site at 11720 Sunrise Valley Drive. Now, 54 open-concept townhomes are on the way in Toll Brothers’ Valley and Park development.

The square footage varies for the four different townhome plans, but they all feature three bedrooms, two full bathrooms and three half bathrooms. They are priced in the mid-$800,000s, according to Toll Brothers.

The site is about a 5-minute drive away from both the Wiehle-Reston East and the future Reston Town Center Metro stations. A sign says that the development is “opening early 2019.”

The residential project was added to the Reston Association around this time last year, which means that the owners will have to pay annual assessments.

The site neighbors the new Sekas Homes development that includes 34 townhouses and 10 condos. Up the road, VY at Reston Heights opened its 385-apartments community early last year and includes space for a handful of retailers, which have not opened yet.

Last seven images via Toll Brothers 

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UPDATED: Frying Pan Road Open After Crash, Icy Conditions Remain

Updated at 9:45 — Police say the road opened back up around 9:42 a.m. Crews are on their way to treat the icy conditions on the road.

Earlier: Frying Pan Road is closed near Sunrise Valley Drive shortly after 9 a.m., according to the Fairfax County Police Department.

“A traffic crash with icy conditions” caused the closure, an FCPD tweet says.

Police ask locals to avoid the area and find an alternate route.

Images via Google Maps and Virginia 511

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UPDATED: Two Vehicle Crash Shuts Down Part of Fairfax County Parkway

Updated at 3:15 p.m. — All lanes of Fairfax County Parkway are open, according to a Fairfax County Police Department tweet at 2:42 p.m.

Northbound on Fairfax County Parkway near Sunrise Valley Drive was shut down around 1:20 p.m. as crews work to free a trapped driver from a crash.

Fairfax County sent out a traffic alert at 1:21 p.m. about the crash.

Six minutes later, Fairfax Fire and Rescue tweeted that crews were on the scene of the two-vehicle crash.

Crews freed the driver about 10 minutes later. Two people were transported to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to a second tweet at 1:36 p.m.

Image via Google Maps

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Dulles Toll Road Faces Nearly a Dozen Lane Closures This Week

Construction work on the second phase of the Metrorail Silver Line project brings lane and ramp closures from Monday (Jan. 21) until Saturday (Jan. 26).

Most of the closures avoid prime rush hour times.

In a post about the closures, the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project reminds drivers to use caution; remain attentive to all signage, barricades and speed limits; and obey all police and flagger instructions. Work is subject to weather changes.

Eastbound on the Dulles Toll Road has a left lane closures from 500 feet west of the Reston Parkway Overpass to 300 feet before the Wiehle Avenue Overpass from Monday until Wednesday. The lane will be closed from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each day.

Then, from Wednesday through Friday, a left lane will be closed from 200 feet west of the Hunter Mill Road Bridge to 700 feet before the Beulah Road Overpass. This will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

A final left lane closure eastbound on the Dulles Toll Road will stretch from 400 feet west of the Wiehle Avenue Overpass to 600 feet before the Hunter Mill Road Bridge. This is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., starting Tuesday and ending on Friday.

Two triple left lane closures are also slated from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. They are the following:

  • Monday to Tuesday: from just west of Centreville Road to Herndon Station
  • Tuesday to Wednesday: from Van Buren Street to Reston Town Center Station

The toll road will also have alternating right and left lane closures from just west of the Route 28 Overpass to the Reston Parkway Overpass. The times for this are:

  • Monday to Friday: 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
  • Saturday: 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Westbound on the Dulles Toll Road also alternating right and left lane closures between the Route 28 and Reston Parkway overpasses. The times for this are:

  • Monday to Friday: 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.
  • Saturday: 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Westbound also has two triple left lane closures from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. They are:

  • Wednesday to Thursday: from Reston Parkway to the west end of Herndon Station
  • Thursday to Friday: from Van Buren Street to the west end of Innovation Station

Eastbound on Sunset Hills Road will have alternating right and left lane closures from 400 feet west of Town Center Parkway to the Bechtel Building Entrance. The civil work will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. from Monday until Thursday and from 9: 30 a.m. to noon on Friday.

 Eastbound on Herndon Parkway from 1,000 feet east of Van Buren Street to 800 feet west of Exchange Place will have a right lane closed from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. from Monday until Thursday and from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Friday.

Several different spots westbound on Sunrise Valley Drive will have closed right lanes from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. from Monday to Thursday and from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Friday, including:

  • from Dulles Technology Drive to Dulles Station Blvd
  • from Thunder Chase Drive to Millburn Lane
  • from Reston Parkway to 200 feet west of Edmund Halley Drive

Edmund Halley Drive will have a right shoulder closed from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. from Monday to Thursday and from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Friday.

Image via Google Maps

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Lane and Ramp Closures Scheduled for This Week Near Reston

Construction work on the second phase of the Metrorail Silver Line project brings lane and ramp closures from Sunday (Jan. 13) until Saturday (Jan. 19).

Most of the closures avoid prime rush hour times.

In a post about the closures, the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project reminds drivers to use caution; remain attentive to all signage, barricades and speed limits; and obey all police and flagger instructions. Work is subject to weather changes.

Eastbound on the Dulles Toll Road has alternating right and left lane closures from just west of the Route 28 overpass to the Reston Pkwy overpass on the following days:

  • Monday to Friday: 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
  • Saturday: 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Eastbound also has a left lane closure 500 feet west of the Reston Pkwy overpass to 300 feet before the Wiehle Avenue overpass. This will occur from Wednesday until Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Alternating right and left lane closures are also westbound on the Dulles Toll Road between the Route 28 and Reston Parkway overpass. These will be in effect:

  • Monday to Friday: 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.
  • Saturday: 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Also heading westbound is a triple left lane closure from Reston Pkwy to the west end of Herndon Station from 10 p.m. to 5 .m. from Tuesday until Thursday.

Two left lane closures are also scheduled. One will stretch from 300 feet west of the Wiehle Avenue overpass to 400 feet of the Reston Pkwy overpass from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. from Tuesday until Friday.

The second one will be from 200 feet west of the Hunter Mill Road Bridge to the W&OD Trail from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. from Monday until Thursday.

Eastbound on Sunset Hills Road will have alternating right and left lane closures from 400 feet west of Town Center Pkwy to Bechtel Building Entrance. The civil work will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. from Monday until Thursday and from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Friday.

Eastbound on Herndon Parkway from 1,000 feet east of Van Buren Street to 800 feet west of Exchange Place will have a right lane closed from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. from Monday until Thursday and from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Friday.

Several different spots westbound on Sunrise Valley Drive will have closed right lanes from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. from Monday until Thursday and from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Friday, including:

  • from Dulles Technology Drive to Dulles Station Blvd
  • from Thunder Chase Drive to Millburn Lane
  • from Reston Pkwy to 200 feet west of Edmund Halley Drive

Edmund Halley Drive will have a right shoulder closed from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. from Monday until Thursday and from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Friday.

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Lane and Ramp Closures This Week in Reston

Construction work on the second phase of the Metrorail Silver Line project brings lane and ramp closures from Sunday (Jan. 6) until Saturday (Jan. 12).

Most of the closures avoid prime rush hour times.

In a post about the closures, the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project reminds drivers to use caution; remain attentive to all signage, barricades and speed limits; and obey all police and flagger instructions. Work is subject to weather changes.

Eastbound on the Dulles Toll Road has alternating right and left lane closures from just west of the Route 28 overpass to the Reston Parkway overpass on the following days:

  • Monday to Friday: 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
  • Saturday: 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Drivers can also expect triple lane closures eastbound on the Dulles Toll Road from the west end of the Herndon Station to the east end of the Reston Station. This will take place from 10 p.m. on Wednesday until 5 a.m. on Thursday.

Alternating right and left lane closures are westbound on the Dulles Toll Road between the Route 28 and Reston Parkway overpass. These will be in effect:

  • Monday to Friday: 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.
  • Saturday: 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Eastbound on Sunset Hills Road will have alternating right and left lane closures from 400 feet west of Town Center Pkwy to Bechtel Building Entrance. The civil work will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. from Monday to Thursday and from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Friday.

Eastbound on Herndon Parkway from 1,000 feet east of Van Buren Street to 800 feet west of Exchange Place will have a right lane closed from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. from Monday to Thursday and from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Friday.

Several different spots westbound on Sunrise Valley Drive will have closed right lanes from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Monday to Thursday and from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Friday, including:

  • from Dulles Technology Drive to Dulles Station Blvd
  • from Thunder Chase Drive to Millburn Lane
  • from Reston Pkwy to 200 feet west of Edmund Halley Drive

Edmund Halley Drive will have a right shoulder closed from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. from Monday to Thursday and from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Friday.

File photo

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Lane and Ramp Closures Next Week Due to Silver Line Work

For locals who plan to hit the roads around the holidays, expect delays with lane and ramp closures as construction continues on the second phase of the Metrorail Silver Line project.

The closures start on Sunday (Dec. 23) and are scheduled to last until Saturday (Dec. 29), according to a post from the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project.

Drivers heading eastbound on the Dulles Toll Road can expect alternating right and left lane closures of varying lengths from just west of the Route 28 overpass to the Reston Parkway overpass. This will take place from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. from Wednesday to Friday.

Meanwhile, westbound on the Dulles Toll Road will have alternating right and left lane closures of varying lengths between the Reston Parkway overpass and Route 28. This will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. from Wednesday to Friday.

Eastbound on Sunset Hills Road will have alternating right and left lane closures from 400 feet west of Town Center Parkway to Bechtel Building Entrance from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Thursday.

Eastbound on Herndon Parkway will have a right lane closed from 1,000 feet east of Van Buren Street to 800 feet west of Exchange Place.

The times for this are:

  • Thursday: 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • Friday: 9:30 a.m. to noon

Several spots westbound on Sunrise Valley Drive will have closed right lanes from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Thursday and from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Friday, including:

  • from Dulles Technology Drive to Dulles Station Blvd
  • from Thunder Chase Drive to Millburn Lane
  • from Reston Parkway to 200 feet west of Edmund Halley Drive

Edmund Halley Drive will have a right shoulder closed from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Thursday and from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Friday.

File photo

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Poll: What do You Think About Wegmans Coming to Town?

You have probably heard the news by now: Reston is getting its first Wegmans.

The 80,000-square-foot Wegmans will be a part of Brookfield Properties’ $1.4 billion development by the Silver Line’s planned Reston Town Center Metro station.

The nearly 4 million-square-foot mixed-use development dubbed Halley Rise, formerly known as Reston Crescent, will be located on the northwest corner of the intersection of Reston Parkway and Sunrise Valley Drive.

The project includes new housing, offices and public green space.

The developers are now eyeing neighbors for Wegmans in the 250,000 square feet of planned retail space, which could support between 20 to 30 tenants. A bowling alley concept, movie theater, fitness center and restaurants are all under consideration, the Washington Business Journal reported.

The Wegmans could open as soon as 2022, which is when the first phase of the project is slated to be done. The second phase is aiming for completion in 2026.

With the new development beginning construction in 2019, let us know your thoughts about Halley Rise and the new grocery option.

Photos via Halley Rise and Fairfax County and handout via Brookfield Properties

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Herndon-Monroe Bus Loop to Close Late Wednesday, Early Thursday

Bus riders, be advised: the Herndon-Monroe bus loop will be closed Wednesday (Dec. 19) evening and Thursday (Dec. 20) morning.

The temporary closure allows Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project crews to complete the pedestrian bridge span at the southwest corner of the bus loop, according to a post from the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project.

Work is expected to start at 10 p.m. on Wednesday and last through 4 a.m. on Thursday. Buses will pick up and drop off from Sunrise Valley Drive.

The post also notes that the closure of Innovation Avenue has been extended to March.

Map via Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project 

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County Board Supports Proposed Soapstone Connector Route Amid Concerns about Historic Resources

County officials seek to proceed with construction of the Soapstone Connector, a major road extension between Sunrise Valley Drive and Sunset Hills Road, amid concerns the path of the half-mile extension would disturb potentially historically significant buildings on Association Drive.

On Sept. 25, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted to support the county’s proposed route for $169 million project because buildings on Association Drive are not likely eligible a historical designation on the national register. The board’s approval responds formally to a Virginia Department of Historic Resources letter that urged the county work with the Fairfax County Architectural Review Board (ARB)  to determine if the buildings on Association are historically significant.

Earlier this year, the ARB raised concerns that the 1916 Association Drive and ten office buildings on Association Drive could be eligible for National Register of Historic Places as a historic district. The county’s environmental assessment of the property did not concur with the ARB’s analysis.

Construction of the connector, which will create a new crossing over the Dulles Corridor, is not anticipated to begin until after 2023.

Tom Biesiadny, director of the county’s transportation department, said the county was ready to pitch its proposed route in January when concerns about the historical significance of the buildings arose. After direction from state officials, the department consulted with boards, agencies, property owners and developers to determine how to proceed. Two historic studies commissioned by architectural historians offered conflicting opinions on the historical significance of the buildings, which served educational associations.

If the state’s historic resources department determines the proposed route of the Soapstone Connector impacts historic resources on the site, county officials will need to mull additional alternates to avoid disturbing any historic resources. But county officials hinted the overall discussion on the impact of possibly historically significant buildings was largely moot because the entire office park is slated for potential redevelopment as a mixed-use project. Reston’s comprehensive plan was amended in 2014 to allow high-density development in the area and property owners have long expressed eagerness to proceed with redevelopment.

“I think you’re looking at an uphill climb to preserve this area as a district,” said Frank Selden, director of the Fairfax County’s Department of Planning and Zoning.

Biesiadny also said the future road connection would run through the building on 1904 Association Drive, which is not likely of historical significance. The building that is likely historically significant is 1916 Association Drive and lies on the opposite side of where the connector would run through.

The board indicated overall support of the project, which it formally approved several years ago. Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins said the connector was desperately needed to manage traffic generated by additional redevelopment and development.

“This would be an additional north-south crossing of which we have two that are already congested and [are] desperately in need of an alternative,” Hudgins said. She also suggested the county and the developer could acknowledge the historical significance of the buildings through other means.

An attempt to defer the vote to the board’s next meeting failed.

“This is not something that hasn’t been vetted and worked through,” said Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Sharon Bulova.

Although the state transportation department is procuring a consultant to design the Soapstone Connector, design work cannot begin unless state officials are aware of the final road alignment.

Photo via handout/Fairfax County Government

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