Reston, VA

Nosie Barrier being installed along Route 7, between Reston Avenue and Utterback Store Road (Photo courtesy of VDOT)

(Update 3/3) A major project to widen nearly seven miles of Route 7 between Reston Avenue and Jarrett Valley Drive remains on track for completion by July 31, 2024.

It is also expected to be completed within its $314 million budget, confirms Jennifer McCord, a  Virginia Department of Transportation spokeswoman.

The improvements include widening the heavily-trafficked road – also known as Leesburg Pike – from four to six lanes, adding shared-use paths for pedestrians and bikers, and making major design changes to intersections.

It’s all being done within the guidelines of the Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan.

The project was first discussed nearly a decade ago, approved in 2017 with construction beginning two years ago, in the spring of 2019. It’s expected to take just over five years to complete.

Over the last two months, construction has continued at different sections of the road.

Between Reston Avenue and Utterback Store Road, a noise barrier is currently being added as well as the installation of a storm sewer between Reston Avenue and Baron Cameron Avenue.

From Baron Cameron Avenue to Colvin Run Road, existing asphalt was removed.

In the Difficult Run Area, work has continued on the new Colvin Run as well as excavation for the pedestrian tunnel that will run under Route 7.

Between Faulkner Drive to Jarrett Valley Drive, water main relocations and traffic shifts are taking place.

Landscaping work and third-party utility relocations are underway throughout the roadway.

This construction has also resulted in a number of traffic changes and lane closures that are constantly shifting.

In the upcoming months, crews will begin removing the Route 7 bridge over Difficult Run and will eventually complete a higher, longer bridge to replace it.

Colvin Run will also be diverted to a new stream channel. Small weirs (barriers) are being placed in the stream bed to encourage a meandering flow pattern and vegetation growth.

Construction will also continue on the pedestrian tunnel underneath Route 7 connecting the north and south sections of Colvin Run Mill Park.

Despite the ongoing work, public access to the Gerry Connolly Cross County Trail will be maintained.

While crews continue to work with COVID-19 safety protocols in effect, the decreased traffic volume in the earlier part of the pandemic has allowed VDOT to extend work hours in certain cases.

Photo courtesy of VDOT

0 Comments

The Town of Herndon’s plans for major upgrades to an 0.5-mile stretch from Old Spring Street to Herndon Parkway along Van Buren Street have been delayed.

The project, which would add curb-and-gutter, widen travel lanes to 11 feet, and add bike lanes in each direction, was originally set to be complete by the winter of this year. Now, the timeline is being revised.

Utility relocation, which was originally set to be completed by the end of 2020, will likely take place by March, according to Richard Smith, the town’s engineer on the project. The town is currently working on creating a revising project schedule for all contractors, he said, noting that utility relocation contractors have been delayed for ‘various reasons.

‘This is all contingent on the private contractors completing the relocation and the subsequent authorization by VDOT to allow the town to bid the project for construction,’ Smith told Reston Now in a statement.

Once completed, the project will also relocate overhead utility poles, add crosswalks and signals at Alabama Drive, upgrade stormwater management facilities, and add five-foot-wide sidewalks.

During the construction phase of the project, the town expects the asphalt pedestrian trail along Van Buren Street to be closed to pedestrian and bicycle traffic from Spring Street Park to Aspen Drive.

Originally, the town estimated construction would begin in the fall of 2019 or early winter of 2020.

Photo via handout/Town of Herndon

0 Comments

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in its meeting Tuesday unanimously approved the construction of a new bridge on Hunter Mill Road  over Colvin Run.

Construction of the bridge is planned to begin in spring 2021, with a completion date set for the summer of 2022.

The bridge is projected to cost $5.5 million and will be primarily funded by Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) through the State of Good Repair program. The cost was initially estimated by VDOT at $3 million in February 2019, and was anticipated to cost $5.1 million in VDOT’s May 2020 update.

Fairfax County will contribute $408,000 for pedestrian improvements south of the new bridge. The county’s contributions will fund the construction of a splitter island, median refuge, and rectangular rapid flashing beacons.

The new bridge will have two 11-foot lanes and include a three-foot-wide grass median that will match the existing roadway. It is also been designed to allow a future trail crossing over Colvin Run south of the bridge and abutments for a new trail bridge over the creek.

Traffic operations will be maintained while the bridge is built. The current one-lane bridge was built in 1974 and was ruled to be deteriorating rapidly by VDOT after an inspection in February of this year. The bridge averages 8,500 vehicles crossing it daily, according to VDOT.

The bridge was repaired in 2012 and 2016 to maintain the integrity of the structure. Further improvements were made in February to temporarily strengthen it by adding wooden beams between the bridge’s I-beams.

The construction of the bridge falls in line with the Fairfax County Transportation Plan that the Board of Supervisors adopted in 2006.  Adoption of this project came after an initial public information meeting with VDOT in April 2018, virtual public involvement in May and June of this year, and finally a virtual design public hearing in September.

During the public hearing in September, VDOT received 28 combined written and oral comments: 22 in favor of the project as presented and six supporting the project with various modifications. There were no objections to the project during the public hearing.

Photo courtesy VDOT

0 Comments

Planning to repair the bridge on Reston Parkway over the Dulles Toll Road is underway after a tractor-trailer crashed into the bridge earlier this month.

According to a spokesperson for the Virginia Department of Transportation, the tractor-trailer struck the bridge and damaged its girder and the connection to its superstructure.

Since the bridge is joined owned by VDOT and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, both entities are devising a plan for repairs.

So far, structural engineers have assessed the damage and are in the “final stages” of creating a repair plan, Ellen Kamilakis told Reston Now.

“Likely, VDOT bridge crews and their contractor will perform at least some of the repair,” she said.

The bridge strike happened on Nov. 20. Since then, the right northbound lane on the bridge has been closed to traffic indefinitely.

Photo via VDOT

0 Comments

The Virginia Department of Transportation is planning bridge rehabilitation work over Sugarland Run this weekend, causing lane closures on westbound Route 7.

Only one lane on westbound Route 7 will be open from 10 p.m. today (Friday) to 3 a.m. Monday (Oct. 26), according to a statement from VDOT.

The following lanes of westbound Route 7 will be closed Friday night to Monday morning (October 23-26), if weather permits, and drivers are encouraged to take alternate routes:

  • Fairfax County Parkway (Route 286)
  • Dranesville Road (Route 228)

More from VDOT on what to expect on westbound Route 7 is below:

Bridge rehabilitation work over Sugarland Run

HERNDON – The two left lanes of westbound Route 7 (Leesburg Pike) Fairfax County Parkway (Route 286) and Dranesville Road (Route 228) will be closed (weather permitting) Friday night, Oct. 23 to Monday morning, Oct. 26 for work related to the Route 7 Westbound over Sugarland Run bridge rehabilitation project, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Traffic on westbound Route 7 will be reduced to one lane from 10 p.m. Friday to 3 a.m. Monday.

Drivers can expect delays and are advised to use alternate routes.

The $4.4 million Route 7 Westbound over Sugarland Run bridge rehabilitation project includes a new concrete bridge deck, bridge pier and abutment repairs, guardrail upgrades, and new curb and gutter in the area of the bridge. The project is financed with state and federal State of Good Repair funds used for bridges and is expected to be complete in spring 2021. Read more.

Photo via Virginia Department of Transportation

0 Comments

A virtual public hearing to learn about and discuss a proposed replacement for the bridge on Hunter Mill Road (Route 674) over Colvin Run is set for Wednesday, Sept. 16.

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) project team is set to begin its presentation at 7 p.m., and team members will be available to answer questions after the presentation of the proposal until 8:30 p.m.

The proposed plan for the bridge – which was built in 1974 – has construction beginning in spring 2021.

Under the plan, the new bridge will replace the one-way, 16-foot-wide lane with a two-way crossing with 11-foot lanes. Plans also include a three-foot-wide grass median.

Additional items within the project include an improved trail crossing south of the bridge and abutments for a new trail bridge over Colvin Run that the county will construct at a later date.

The proposed plan for construction will maintain the existing traffic operation while the new bridge is built. During the first phase of the plan, one lane of the new bridge will be built to the east of the existing bridge. The subsequent phases will shift traffic to the newly constructed bridge while the existing bridge is demolished before the second lane of the new bridge and the median are built.

An inspection of the bridge – which carries an estimated 8,500 vehicles a day – conducted by VDOT in February deemed its condition to be deteriorating rapidly. The condition rating for the substructure of the bridge is currently a three – the condition rating scale is based from zero to nine – which is considered to be in serious condition. The superstructure for the bridge shows significant corrosion of steel girder webs and flanges.

The bridge was strengthened on a temporary basis on Feb. 28 with additional wooden beams added between the bridge’s I-beams. While the load rating of the bridge was reduced from 19 tons to 10, the width of the bridge was also reduced from a 16-foot-wide lane to 10 feet.

Previous improvements to the bridge were made in 2012 and 2016 to maintain the integrity of the structure.

While initial costs were estimated at $3 million in February 2019, the proposed plan is anticipated to cost $5.1 million. The project will be financed with state funding through the State of Good Repair program that will cover $4.7 million of the project, while Fairfax County funding is estimated at $408,000, according to VDOT’s project update in May.

Interested persons may register for the virtual meeting at virginiadot.org/huntermillcolvinrun. Anyone wishing to participate offline, without registering, may call 877-309-2074 (use access code 635-767-879) to listen in.

Any comments following the meeting on Wednesday regarding VDOT’s plan for this project must be submitted by Sept. 28, 2020, on the project website, or by mail to Mr. Vicente Valeza, P.E., Virginia Department of Transportation, 4975 Alliance Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030, or by emailing [email protected] Emails should reference “Hunter Mill Road over Colvin Run Bridge Replacement” in the subject line.

Photos courtesy VDOT

0 Comments

Construction to replace the one-lane Hunter Mill Road bridge over Colvin Run is expected to begin in early 2021.

At the latest Hunter Mill District Transportation Advisory Council meeting, Steven Welch, the Virginia Department of Transportation’s assistant director of transportation and land use, said designs continue to progress.

VDOT expects to finalize designs in the winter with the goal of beginning construction as soon as possible in early 2021. The new bridge will have two lanes separated by a median.

A virtual public hearing is set for Wednesday, Setp. 16 to discuss the project.

The $5.1 million bridge will also include a new trail crossing south of the bridge, landscaping, and infrastructure for a new trail bridge over Colvin Run that the county will construct sometime in the future. Project plans are available on VDOT’s website.

Photo via VDOT

0 Comments

Fairfax County officials are seeking $66.4 million in state funds for the Soapstone Connector.

The project, which would create a new one-mile roadway between Sunrise Valley Drive and Sunset Hills Road, recently received $15 million from the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority.

A bridge would be built over the Dulles Corridor, providing an additional crossing that is critical to reducing congested areas along Wiehle Avenue

At a July 28 meeting, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to seek the funds through the Commonwealth Transportation Board’s FY2022-FY2027 Smart Scale Program.

The program considers projects for funding based on factors like congestion mitigation, economic development, safety, land use and environmental safety. In Northern Virginia, the factor of congestion mitigation has the most weight.

The county worked with the Virginia Department of Transportation to flag nine other projects for consideration, including the widening of Route 7 for bus rapid transit and the widening of Fairfax County Parkway from Route 123 to Nomes Court.

0 Comments

Monday Morning Notes

Route 7 Lane Shifts Begin — There will be permanent lane shifts between Towlston Road and Lewinsville Road beginning today. All residences, businesses and other facilities will remain accessible. [Virginia Department of Transportation]

Filing Now Open for Reston Community Center Poll — “Candidate filing is now open for Reston Community Center’s 2020 Preference Poll to fill three seats on its Board of Governors. The Board of Governors is a nine-member body responsible for overseeing the policies, programs and financial planning for RCC.” [RCC]

Northern Virginia Trails Eastern in New COVID-19 Cases — “While the northern region was the center of the coronavirus crisis in Virginia months ago, it has been trailing the eastern region for new cases lately. In the eastern region, additional restrictions have been implemented in Hampton Roads due to increasing new cases, hospitalizations and positive tests.” [Reston Patch]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

0 Comments

Construction on a new pedestrian and bicyclist bridge over Wiehle Avenue is expected to begin in the summer of 2022.

The project, known as the Wiehle overpass, is currently in the land acquisition phase. Once completed — most likely in the summer of 2023 — the project would offer a new trail crossing at the intersection of the Washington & Old Dominion Trail and Wiehle Avenue.

Upgrades would begin near the Isaac Newton Square development to the west of Wiehle Avenue and end near Michael Faraday Court to the east.

The project would also connect with a future trail to the trail from the Isaac Newton Square development.

The Fairfax County Department of Transportation has received right-of-way authorization from the Virginia Department of Transportation. Dominion Energy’s overhead transmission line is located on Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority property.

0 Comments

Monday Morning Notes

Heat Advisory in Effect — Hot temperatures and high humidity are expected from noon to 8 p.m. today (Monday). Forecasters encourage residents to drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, and stay out of the sun. [National Weather Service]

Input Sought on Route 28 Improvements — “The Virginia Department of Transportation wants the public’s input for a study on improving the Route 28 corridor. The goal is to ease congestion and improve safety around the Dulles Greenway interchange. VDOT has created a survey people can take online until Aug. 3.” [VDOT]

RA Offers Discounts for Recreation Passes, Rebates — “The Reston Association Board of Directors voted to discount the purchase price of member recreation passes by 50 percent starting July 15. The board also decided to offer 50 percent retroactive rebates to members and non-members who have already paid the full price for their 2020 passes. The decisions came during a special virtual meeting of the board on July 13.” [Reston Association]

0 Comments

Motorists may see some congestion relief at a busy intersection in Herndon.

The Virginia Department of Transportation added a new left-turn lane at the intersection of Frying Pan Road and Sunrise Valley Drive in Herndon.

The improvement, which cost roughly $24,000, makes it easier for drivers coming from Route 28 to turn onto Sunrise Valley Drive. Previously, the road had two left-turn lanes.

Roughly 41,000 vehicles travel through this intersection daily, according to VDOT.

Photo via VDOT

0 Comments

Route 7 drivers can expect delays and temporary closures due to construction beginning June 19.

The Virginia Department of Transporation will work on reconstructing the Delta Glen Court intersection and shift eastbound Route 7 traffic to the north.

People may experience lane shifts and temporary changes to the traffic pattern during construction between Baron Cameron Avenue and Carpers Farm Way. All residences, businesses, churches, and public facilities will still be accessible.

From June 19 at 7 p.m. until Jue 20, changes according to VDOT include:

  •  Temporarily median closure until the daytime hours on June 20
  • Drivers on westbound Route 7 to Delta Glen Court will proceed to Baron Cameron Avenue and U-turn to access Delta Glen Court
  • Drivers on eastbound Route 7 to Colvin Run Road will proceed to the Carpers Farm Way/Colvin Run Road intersection and turn left
  • Drivers will encounter single lane closures on eastbound and westbound Route 7 near the Delta Glen Court/Colvin Run Road intersection

Other closures reroutes will take place throughout the rest of the year, the press release said.

Those who want to see detailed plans for construction can check out VDOT’s online interactive updates map.

“As a reminder, the Route 7 speed limit has been reduced to 45 miles per hour in active work zones between Reston Avenue and Jarrett Valley Drive,” VDOT said.

Image courtesy VDOT

0 Comments

Beginning today (May 18), the Virginia Department of Transit will be restriping road lines on northbound Wiehle Avenue in Reston, according to a press release.

Crews will be working between North Shore Drive and Inlet Court daily from 9:30 until 3 p.m. until Friday (May 22), the press release said, adding that drivers can expect lane closures during these times.

“The restriping work involves converting the northbound Wiehle Avenue left through lane to a left-turn lane at the Fairway Drive and Inlet Court intersections,” according to the release. “This aims to improve safety and operations by making it easier to turn left from northbound Wiehle Avenue onto Fairway Drive and Inlet Court, and vice versa.”

Image via Google Maps

0 Comments

State crews are taking advantage of a major dip in traffic as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Virginia Department of Transportation is planning extended closures on several areas of Route 7 in order to fast track major improvements to the roadway.

The extended lane closures were temporarily extended due to “the significant decrease in traffic as a result of school closures, increased telework and limitations on public gatherings,” according to a statement from VDOT.

Here’s more from VDOT on what to expect through Friday, April 17:

ROUTE 7 EASTBOUND

Between Reston Avenue and Jarrett Valley Drive
Monday, March 30 – Friday, April 3, 8 a.m. to 5 a.m.
Left or right lane closed.

Between Baron Cameron Avenue and Jarrett Valley Drive
Sunday, March 29, 10 p.m. to Monday, March 30, 5 a.m.

Friday, April 3, 8 a.m. to Saturday, April 4, 9 a.m.
Saturday, April 4, 10 p.m. to Sunday, April 5, 8 a.m.
Left lane closed. Night work hours may be subject to change based on traffic conditions. 

ROUTE 7 WESTBOUND

Between Jarrett Valley Drive and Reston Avenue
Monday, March 30 – Friday, April 3, 7 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Left or right lane closed.

Between Jarrett Valley Drive and Baron Cameron Avenue
Sunday, March 29, 10 p.m. to Monday, March 30, 3 p.m.

Friday, April 3, 7 p.m. to Saturday, April 4, 9 a.m.
Saturday, April 4, 10 p.m. to Sunday, April 5, 8 a.m.
Left lane closed. Night work hours may be subject to change based on traffic conditions.

VDOT is working to improve a seven-mile stretch of Route 7 between Reston Avenue and Jarrett Valley Drive. The road will be widened from four to six lanes and several intersections will be updated.

Photo via VDOT

0 Comments
×

Subscribe to our mailing list