Reston, VA

Morning Notes

Virginia to Lift All Capacity Restrictions on June 15 — If COVID-19 cases continue to decline, Gov. Ralph Northam will lift all remaining capacity limits on businesses on June 15, as suggested last week. He has not decided whether to extend the state of emergency set to expire on June 30, a move that would be necessary to keep mask requirements in place. [WTOP]

Anti-War Activist Disrupts General Dynamics Meeting — The co-founder of the anti-war group CodePink disrupted General Dynamics’ annual shareholder meeting in Reston earlier this week, accusing the company of contributing to war, particularly in Yemen, by selling weapons to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and other countries. General Dynamics’ CEO called the comments “potentially libelous and incorrect.” [Common Dreams]

Town Center Parkway Study Comments Due Today — Friday (May 7) is the deadline for the public to provide feedback on the Virginia Department of Transportation’s study of the feasibility of extending Town Center Parkway under the Dulles Toll Road. Comments can be shared via mail, email, or online survey. [VDOT NOVA/Twitter]

Herndon Company to Launch SatellitesBlack Sky announced yesterday (Thursday) that it will deploy two more satellites on May 15 as part of an ongoing mission to launch nine “high-resolution multi-spectral” satellites by the end of 2021. The move will allow the company to expand its satellite network as it prepares to go public. [Business Wire]

Cicadas Spotted in Reston — “Based on some pretty sophisticated data analytics (on the four reported sightings), we can conclude that like Realtors, Brood X apparently prefers fashionable North Reston by a (checks supercomputer) three-to-one margin.” [Restonian]

Worldgate Fitness Facility Affiliate Owner Declares Bankruptcy — Sport and Health Virginia Properties filed for bankruptcy in Alexandria on April 22, about two months after the company had its lease for the Worldgate Sport & Health fitness facility in Herndon terminated. The Worldgate facility is now under new management and has been renamed the Worldgate Athletic Club & Spa. [Washington Business Journal]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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The Virginia Department of Transportation unveiled its initial concept designs for a future Town Center Parkway extension under the Dulles Toll Road during a virtual public information meeting on April 7.

Roughly a half-mile in length, the proposed underpass will connect the existing parkway at Sunset Hills Drive to the north with Sunrise Valley Drive to the south by dropping underneath the Dulles Toll Road, the Dulles International Airport Access Highway, and the new Metro Silver Line tracks.

According to Volkert Mid-Atlantic Director of Municipal and Highway Engineering Jeff Cutright, the consultant hired to conduct VDOT’s feasibility study, the extension was initially envisioned as a tunnel, but the study team realized after reviewing the project that an underpass would be “preferable.”

“A tunnel requires an expensive and complex ventilation and fire control system,” Cutright said. “Constructing this as an underpass opens the area, allowing in natural light, and is more economic and provides a more desirable solution.”

According to VDOT’s presentation, the underpass will consist of two travel lanes in each direction.

Between the Sunrise Valley intersection and Dulles Toll Road, the northbound and southbound lanes will be separated by a grass median. There will be a 10-foot-wide shared-use path for pedestrians and bicyclists on the southbound side and a five-foot-wide sidewalk on the northbound side, both of which will tie into off-street cycle tracks on Sunrise Valley Drive.

When the roadway passes under the Dulles Toll Road, the northbound and southbound lanes will be divided by a pier wall that has already been constructed by Metro to support the Silver Line tracks. A left turn lane would be added on the northbound side as the roadway approaches the intersection at Sunset Hills Road.

The shared-use path and sidewalk will continue for the length of the roadway, but they will be narrower under the Dulles Toll Road because of space constraints imposed by the Metro pier walls. Cutright says the height of the toll road bridge will allow a minimum clearance of at least 16 feet and six inches.

Other potential concerns include anticipated reductions in parking for the CoreSite data center and Reston Metro Center One office building on Sunrise Valley Drive. The project would also affect an existing Metro stormwater management facility at the Town Center Parkway and Sunset Hills intersection. Read More

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Reston community members will get their first chance to weigh in on the proposed Town Center Parkway underpass this week.

The Virginia Department of Transportation will hold a virtual public meeting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday (April 7) to discuss and solicit feedback on its ongoing study of the feasibility of extending the road half a mile from Sunset Hills Road to Sunrise Valley Drive.

The meeting will kick off a month-long public comment period scheduled to conclude on May 7.

The proposed underpass would bring Town Center Parkway under the Dulles Toll Road, Metro Silver Line, and the Dulles International Airport Access Highway. VDOT says the project is “aimed at reducing congestion on adjacent roadways and improving accessibility and connectivity to Reston Town Center for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians.”

While VDOT officially began its feasibility study in May 2019, the Town Center Parkway extension has been in the works since at least November 2014, when the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved an allocation of $8.7 million toward the project.

The study carries a $1 million price tag that the county is covering with local funds from the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, according to the most recent Fairfax County transportation status report.

“The [feasibility] study is expected to be complete this summer,” VDOT said. “It will not set construction dates for any improvements, but is developing proposed improvements that Fairfax County can pursue for funding.”

The Fairfax County Department of Transportation estimates that the overall project will cost $170 million, and it is not expected to be completed until 2032.

For anyone unable to attend, a recording of Wednesday’s presentation will be posted to VDOT’s public information meeting page.

Comments can be submitted by email to [email protected] or by mail to VDOT senior project manager Dan Reinhard at 4975 Alliance Dr., Fairfax, VA 22030. There is also an online comment survey for people to share their thoughts.

Photo via Google Maps

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Dog lovers can participate in the upcoming HernDOG Bark Bash this Saturday (Oct. 5).

Pet owners are invited to bring their fluffy friends by from 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. at Town Hall Square (730 Elden Street) for a costume parade and festivities. All are welcome to this free event regardless of pet ownership status.

The first 75 dogs to attend in costume will receive goodies, according to the event.

There will be a variety of booths and representatives at the event, including Homeward Trails Animal Rescue, an organization that matches cats and dogs with loving homes.

Event organizers ask that pet owners only bring vaccinated and friendly animals on a leash.

Anyone wishing to volunteer at the event or become a vendor can contact John Walsh at 703-435-6800.

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State transportation officials are negotiating with a consultant to complete a feasibility study about the future Town Center Parkway underpass.

The underpass, which is listed as a top priority in Reston’s transportation funding plan, would extend Town Center Parkway from Sunrise Valley Drive west of Edmund Haley Drive under the Dulles Toll Road to Sunset Hill Road.

The structure would also include bike and pedestrian facilities that link mixed-use areas north and south of the toll road.

So far, the project is expected to cost roughly $170 million.

Currently, the Virginia Department of Transportation is negotiating with a consultant to conduct a feasibility study.

Once completed, the underpass is expected to relieve congestion and give commuters a different option for heading north and south in the area beyond Fairfax County Parkway and Reston Parkway.

The project isn’t expected to be completed until 2032. Before then, county officials estimate environmental assessment, engineering and design will take four years, while construction, right-of-way, and land acquisition could take around five years.

Map via Google Maps

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Kojo Nnamdi Show to Feature ‘Radical Suburbs’ Author — City Lab Senior Editor Amanda Kolson Hurley explores the histories of six suburban communities, including Reston, in her new book, “Radical Suburbs.” Hurley will join Nnamdi in a discussion on the show today at 12:32 p.m. [The Kojo Nnamdi Show]

Ryan Kerrigan Gives Out Tickets to Draft Night — The Redskins player was at the fountain in Reston Town Center on Thursday to give away tickets for Draft Night on Thursday at the Anthem. [Washington Redskins]

NASA Invests in Leidos Project — The Reston-based company is funding early-stage technology that could change what’s possible in space. NASA says the technologies have the “potential to transform human and robotic exploration of other worlds, including the Moon and Mars.” [NASA]

Red’s Table Brings on New Executive ChefRed’s Table, located at 11150 South Lake Drive, has appointed Nelson Erazo as the new executive chef. Erazo came from Jardenea, a restaurant located at the Melrose Georgetown Hotel in D.C., where he had served as executive chef for three years.” [Reston Patch]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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