The Virginia Department of Transportation has announced a virtual public information meeting scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 21 regarding plans to replace the Springvale Road bridge over Piney Run with a two-lane bridge in the Great Falls area of Fairfax County. The bridge is currently single-laned and weight restricted.
VDOT is considering two possible options for the project, according to their press release. One proposed option is to widen the bridge to two lanes with two four-foot-wide shoulders. The other option is to widen the bridge to two lanes separated by raised/splitter island medians with two two-foot-wide shoulders.
The bridge, averaging 4,700 vehicles per day, according to the release, will also have an increased opening to better prepare for flooding.
There is no project start date yet, but the schedule will be updated over several months as the project reaches further stages of planning or if additional funding becomes available. The replacement is aimed to improve bridge safety.
The virtual meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m., and feedback will be accepted through Nov. 2. Those interested in attending can register on the VDOT website.
Screengrab via Google Maps
Drivers should expect more traffic changes and lane shifts on Route 7 beginning today (Monday) as work on the multi-year expansion project continues.
Drivers on westbound Route 7 and nearby side streets will see major lane shifts and traffic pattern changes between Baron Cameron Avenue and Utterback Store Road.
All westbound lanes will shift south between Baron Cameron Avenue and Utterback Store Road beginning today.
Detours are also in effect until June 2021 for Great Passage Boulevard and Riva Ridge Drive. Drivers are encouraged to followed signed detour routes along Kettle Pond Lane and Amanda Drive.
The project will widen seven miles between Reston Avenue and Jarrett Valley Drive, including widening the road from four to six lanes, adding 10-foot-side shared-use paths, and other intersection improvements.
The $313.9 million project is expected to be completed by the summer of 2024.
Photo via Virginia Department of Transportation
The Virginia Department of Transportation’s project to widen Route 7 is well underway and is on track to finish by summer 2024.
The project planned to “improve almost seven miles of Route 7 between Reston Ave. and Jarrett Valley Drive,” according to Jennifer McCord, the Northern Virginia Communications Manager for the Virginia Department of Transportation.
As of right now, there are several traffic shifts and new traffic patterns along the Route 7 Corridor as crews place temporary asphalt for the road widening as well as intersection reconstruction, according to McCord. She added that noise walls will be added later as most of the work is completed.
At the beginning of the project, VDOT set a $313.9 million budget, and according to McCord, they are still on track to complete within that budget.
As of June 2020, from Reston Avenue to Riva Ridge Drive making up Area 1 West, there has been continued storm sewer installation, relocated communication lines, installation of an underdrain, continued construction of a stormwater management pond and cement stabilization, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation project website.
In Area 1 East from Baron Cameron Ave. to Carpers Farm Way, construction completed cement stabilizations, placed base asphalt, shifted eastbound Route 7 lanes towards the median, began reconstruction of Delta Glen Court pavement and built a retaining wall west of Baron Cameron Ave.
In Area 2, the Baron Cameron Intersection, Stage 2 construction was pending right-of-way acquisition.
In Area 3, Difficult Run Area, there was continued relocation of communication utilities.
In Area 4, Faulkner Drive to Jarrett Valley Drive, there was the construction of a stormwater management pond, asphalt was placed for temporary pavement in the median and they completed shoulder strengthening along the eastbound lanes, according to the website.
Since fewer people have been traveling since the pandemic, the number of allowable work hours extended because of the decrease in traffic volume.
“Due to the 40-60% decrease in traffic volumes in parts of March and April, VDOT was able to grant select contractor requests for extended allowable work hours,” said McCord.
Improvements at Towlston Road were completed in October 2019, and a new triple left turn at Baron Cameron Ave. was completed early and has been open for about a year, said McCord.
The website continues to post lane closure updates for the following week every Friday.
Photos courtesy of Jennifer McCord
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
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved the county’s Transportation Priorities Plan — which is estimated to cost roughly $3 billion dollars.
The plan approved last Tuesday (Dec. 3) by the board will guide decisions for transit improvements for fiscal years 2020 to 2025, according to a county press release.
In the Hunter Mill District specifically, there are more than 50 projects recommended by the county documents — many of which include improvements in safety measures for pedestrians and bicyclists as well as various infrastructure and intersection changes. Some of the projects suggested in the plan will be fully funded by the estimated cost, while other projects will need to find additional funding.
Here is a list of a few major improvements in the plan:
- Widen Route 7 from four to six lanes from Jarrett Valley Drive (Dulles Toll Road) to Reston Avenue. This would include intersection, bicycle and pedestrian and bus stop changes
- Addition of a walkway on the north side of Fox Mill Road from Fairfax County Parkway to Reston Parkway
- Expansion of Reston bike-share
- Expansion of Town Center Parkway to include a divided roadway under the Dulles Toll Road from Sunrise Valley Drive to Sunset Hills Road
The Fairfax County Department of Transportation will also continue projects that are already underway, according to Fairfax County’s website.
County documents also included a list of projects that were not recommended for the 2020-25 Priorities List, including the underpass for Town Center Parkway and the Dulles Toll Road.
In 2014, the Board of Supervisors approved $1.4 billion for six years of transportation projects from FY 2015-2020.
The county said in the press release that the funding estimate for the FY 2020- 2025 plan was impacted by the Virginia General Assembly passing legislation that diverted funds to the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority, along with rising project costs.
More from the press release:
The anticipated funding for a draft FY 2018-2023 TPP was $600 million in new revenues to fully fund existing projects and $170 million in new projects. These funding estimates were not realized, because in 2018, the Virginia General Assembly passed legislation that designated $154 million per year for the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority (WMATA) to address system improvement needs largely did so by diverting funding from existing local and regional sources.
Of the $102 million annual diversion, the financial impact on Fairfax County was estimated to be $45-50 million per year, or approximately $300 million over six years. As a result, there is no available revenue for new transportation projects. In addition, the County was required to adjust schedules for some previously approved projects, many beyond FY 2025…
According to the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), project costs have been rising for various reasons, including the number of large-scale projects underway across the National Capital Region causing shortages of labor and materials; economic factors such as tariffs and rising right-of-way costs; and across the board increases on project contingencies required by VDOT.
Image via Google Maps
Fairfax County Poaches Another Arlington Development Official — The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) announced that it has poached another one of Arlington’s economic development officials: Alex Iams, the former interim director of the Arlington Economic Development. [Tysons Reporter]
Common Recycling Mistakes — Nearly 30 percent of material received by a third-party recycling processor used by the county is trash. The county offers tips on how to stop this practice of “wishful recycling.” [Fairfax County Government]
Feedback Sought on Fairfax County Parkway Improvements — The Virginia Department of Transportation is holding a public hearing on Thursday (Dec. 12) on plans to improve five miles of Fairfax County Parkway. Comments can also be submitted online. [Virginia Department of Transportation]
More Authority Proposed for Local Jurisdictions — “Democrats say they are likely to let counties and cities choose, for example, whether to remove or relocate Confederate memorials, and are looking for ways to allow them to impose taxes on hotel stays and cigarettes. They say they are unlikely to push for a full adoption of home rule, however, citing a century’s worth of judicial decisions that adhere to the philosophy of state control.” [The Washington Post]
Photo via Flickr/vantagehill
Get ready for more snow.
The National Weather Service recently posted a winter weather advisory for the D.C.-area, including Fairfax County, from 6 p.m. tonight (Jan. 17) to 4 a.m. on Friday.
NWS expects around 1 inch of snow accumulation.
The advisory says the following:
Plan on slippery road conditions and
sidewalks. The hazardous conditions could impact the evening
commute after sunset as temperatures fall below freezing.
A Winter Weather Advisory for snow means periods of snow will
cause primarily travel difficulties. Expect snow covered roads
and limited visibilities, and use caution while driving.
The latest road conditions for the state you are calling from can
be obtained by calling 5 1 1.
The Virginia Department of Transportation is asking drivers to closely monitor forecasts for potential snow and ice impacting rush hours tonight and tomorrow, according to a “snow update” email this morning.
VDOT wrote that crews are staging along roads throughout the day to be ready for rush hour and have touched up pretreatment on areas prone to freezing, such as bridges, ramps and overpasses. They will also continue to work overnight to treat for icy conditions.
RT @NWS_BaltWash: Accumulating snow is expected late today and overnight. Winter Weather Advisories have been expanded over the DC and Baltimore metro areas. Be prepared for hazardous driving conditions. pic.twitter.com/U64T7TE46f
— Fairfax County Government (@fairfaxcounty) January 17, 2019
MT @VaDOTNOVA: Crews will be staged ahead of rush hour for snow during today’s PM commute. Pls leave work early (yay!) if you can. Storms during rush hour have a huge impact on the roads. Also watch for overnight freeze for tomorrow’s AM rush. 🥶❄️ pic.twitter.com/h9QIHoXLXb
— Fairfax County Government 😷🇺🇸 (@fairfaxcounty) January 17, 2019
Photo via Robbie Nolan/Twitter
County remains among the richest — the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that Fairfax County ranks second as the richest county from 2013 to 2017, following Loudoun County. [U.S. Census Bureau]
It’s snow joke — With snow predictions looming, the Virginia Department of Transportation wants residents to stay safe by looking over its 2018-2019 “snow facts.” [VDOT]
Fine arts photography collection — The “La Lumiere DuBois VII” exhibit by Michael DuBois, who highlights his love of nature, opens today at the Reston Community Center Hunters Woods. The exhibit is open until Jan. 6. [Reston Community Center]
“She Kills Monsters: Young Adventurers Edition” — Watch students from the Herndon High School perform a contemporary dramatic comedy tonight at 7 p.m. Parental guidance is recommended. [Herndon High School Theatre]
Photo by Susan Berger
A plan is underway to replace an aging bridge on Hunter Mill Road over Colvin Run.
The $3 million project would expand the bridge from one to two lanes and include four-feet-wide shoulders. The number of vehicles that pass over the bridge is expected to increase from 7,200 to 11,000 vehicles per day by 2043, according to state estimates.
The replacement project has been contemplated by state and local officials for nearly 20 years.
The Virginia Department of Transportation is seeking public input on the project on April 16 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Forest Ridge Elementary School (1501 Becontree Lane). A presentation on the project will begin at 7 p.m.
Construction will likely begin in the spring of 2021. The bridge is expected to be completed by the summer of 2022. It has a sufficiency rating of 23.5 out of 100, a measure that determines the likelihood of a bridge to remain in service.
Photos courtesy of VDOT
Fairfax County School Board to Discuss School Calendar — The board will review three options to change the school calendar for next year on Monday, Nov. 13. Changes include several options for the first day of school and the selection of the length of winter break and early release days. Proposed changes can be found on the school system’s website. For more information, contact the school system’s community relations and communication office at 571-423-1200. [Fairfax County Public Schools]
Federal Capital Partners To Sell Amazon Web Services Building in Herndon — The landlord has hired a firm to market the One Dulles Tower, a 400,000 square foot building for sale. The company purchased the building for $80 million in 2015. [Washington Business Journal]
Event to Highlight Crash Management Efforts in Northern Virginia — Virginia’s transportation department will show how multiple agencies and jurisdictions work together to clear incidents on the state’s roads on Nov. 11 at 10 a.m. The event, which will be held at the department’s Northern Virginia District Office (4975 Alliance Drive), is the first open house in Northern Virginia that will feature a simulated crash scene and indoor technology exposition. For more information, visit the department’s webpage. [Virginia Department of Transportation]
Herndon High School Theatre Presents ‘Twelfth Night’ — William Shakespeare’s holiday comedy will be performed on Nov. 10, 11, 16 and 17 from 7:30 – 10 p.m. Timings for Nov. 12 and Nov. 18 are between 2 and 4:30 p.m. Parental guidance is recommended, as the performance is not suitable for audience members under the age of thirteen. Tickets, which are $12 for adults and $6 for students, can be purchased on the theatre’s website. Performances will take place in Herndon High School’s auditorium (700 Bennett St.). [Herndon High School Theatre]
Sobriety Check Set for Friday — Officers from the Reston District Station will be conducting a sobriety checkpoint in the area this Friday. A first-time DUI offense can result in fines ranging from $250 to $2,500 and a one-year license suspension. Individuals arrested with a blood-alcohol content of 0.15 or higher must spend at least five days in jail. [Fairfax County Police]
Hook Road Project Info Session — Anyone interested in learning about the Hook Road Recreation Area project and the forming of a working group may attend an information session on Tuesday, Aug. 29 at 6:30 p.m. at Reston Association headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive). Email [email protected] for more about serving on the working group. [Reston Association]
Third Outreach Session on Bikeshare Announced — The Virginia Department of Transportation has announced a third public outreach event to gather community input on the proposed sites for Capital Bikeshare expansion in Reston. It will be Saturday, Aug. 26 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Reston Farmers Market. [VDOT]
Aquatics Center To Close for Annual Maintenance — The Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center at Reston Community Center (2310 Colts Neck Road) will be closed from Aug. 19 to Sept. 15. It is scheduled to reopen at noon Sept. 16. [Reston Community Center]
County Short-Term Rental Survey Ongoing — Fairfax County is developing regulations to govern the use of short-term rentals (e.g., Airbnb). It is gathering community input through Aug. 31. [Fairfax County/Survey Monkey]
Column: Virginia Should Not Pay for ‘Skins Stadium — Regular ARLnow columnist Peter Rousselot wrote this week about how the costs of bringing a new Washington Redskins home field to Virginia would far outweigh the benefits for taxpayers. [ARLnow]
Beginning Monday, traffic and parking on North Shore Drive will be limited as re-paving work is done.
According to signs posted on the road, the work is scheduled for July 10 through Aug. 10. Parking limitations will be in effect from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day while the work is being conducted.
The work will be done on the entire 3.53-mile length of the road. As part of the re-paving project, lines will be painted on the road to create bike lanes and add sharrows.
Paving projects have already been completed this season on North Village Road and a small portion of Wiehle Avenue. More paving will take place this summer on roads including Colts Neck Road, Glade Drive and Twin Branches Road.
At its meeting Tuesday, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors gave its seal of approval to plans to widen Leesburg Pike (Route 7) from Reston to Tysons.
The Virginia Department of Transportation project will involve nearly seven miles of Route 7, between Reston Avenue and Jarrett Valley Drive, which is just before the Dulles Toll Road interchange. Supervisors approved the plan, with two minor amendments, as it was presented at a public hearing in November. (View information shared and discussed at that meeting here.)
“[This has been] a long-awaited case,” Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins said at the meeting prior to the vote.
This is the latest stage of VDOT’s work to add two lanes to the heavily traveled highway, bringing it to six overall. They also plan to add facilities for cyclists and pedestrians, and make “substantial intersection and other improvements” along the corridor. Those improvements, according to VDOT, will include constructing a partial interchange at Baron Cameron Avenue to reduce congestion.
A rendering provided by VDOT shows the Baron Cameron interchange will have the eastbound lanes of Route 7 traveling under the road, connected via ramps. Westbound lanes will continue to face a stoplight at the intersection.
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.
Anticipated cost of the project is $234 million. VDOT is expected to put out its request for proposals on the project later this year. Work is planned to start in late 2020 and last until 2025.
Rendering and map courtesy Virginia Department of Transportation
A meeting is slated for June 1 to discuss the effects of widening of Route 7 from Reston to Tysons.
Michael J. Coughlin is the eminent domain, land use and zoning, and real estate lawyer for Walsh, Colucci, Lubeley and Walsh PC. He will host the meeting on the project Thursday, June 1 from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Sheraton Tysons (8661 Leesburg Pike, Tysons).
The proposed Virginia Department of Transportation project will involve nearly seven miles of Route 7, between Reston Avenue and Jarrett Valley Drive, which is just before the Dulles Toll Road interchange. Coughlin is inviting residents to the meeting to “learn about the project, potential impacts to properties, what to do to prepare for the project, the eminent domain process in Virginia, and the legal rights of owners and businesses affected by the project.”
This is the latest stage of VDOT’s work to add two lanes to the heavily traveled highway, bringing it to six overall. They also plan to add facilities for cyclists and pedestrians, and make “substantial intersection and other improvements” along the corridor.
Those improvements, according to VDOT, would include:
- Constructing a partial interchange at Baron Cameron Avenue to reduce congestion
- Relocating Lewinsville Road and creating a displaced left-turn intersection
- Replacing and raising the Difficult Run bridge to reduce flooding
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is slated to vote on the project design next month. Upon approval, VDOT is expected to put out its request for proposals on the project later this year. Work is planned to start in late 2020 and last until 2025. Anticipated cost of the project is $234 million.
Photo: Intersection of Route 7 and Baron Cameron Avenue. Map via Virginia Department of Transportation.
Work to rehabilitate bridges and close joints on Reston Parkway will affect drivers this weekend and next.
The bridges over the Dulles Toll Road will have the work done Friday night through Monday morning each weekend, causing delays and detours in the area. In total, the closure schedule is:
- 10 p.m. tonight through 9 a.m. Sunday: Southbound two right lanes closed
- 8 p.m. Saturday through 3 a.m. Monday: Northbound two right lanes closed
- 10 p.m. Friday, April 28 through 9 a.m. Sunday, April 30: Southbound two left lanes closed
- 8 p.m. Saturday, April 29 through 3 a.m. Monday, May 1: Northbound two left lanes closed
While the northbound work is being done this weekend (8 p.m. Saturday through 3 a.m. Monday), traffic traveling in that direction will not be able to make the left turn onto the westbound Dulles Toll Road. Those cars will be detoured via Sunset Hills Road and Wiehle Avenue.
The work will include bridge deck resurfacing, repair of deteriorated concrete on abutments and piers, repaving of the roadway leading up to the bridges, and joint closures. In addition, the southbound bridge will receive repairs to the concrete barrier that separates the road from a shared-use path.
All work is weather-permitting, the Virginia Department of Transportation says.
According to VDOT, the northbound bridge was built in 1959, and the southbound bridge was constructed in 1976. Both were widened in 1989, with the northbound bridge’s deck also replaced at that time.
As part of the overall project, the Monroe Street/Van Buren Street bridges and the Herndon-Monroe Park and Ride ramp bridge are also scheduled to have work done at a later date. All work is expected to be completed by summer, VDOT says.