Improvements Planned for Crash-Prone McLean Intersection

The Balls Hill Road and Old Dominion Drive intersection can be a headache for anyone driving through McLean, but plans are underway to make major changes to the troublesome conjunction.

A meeting is scheduled for Thursday (Nov. 15) to update the public on the Balls Hill Road and Old Dominion Drive Realignment Project.

Currently, the road faces substantial queuing during rush hours, caused in part by poor intersection design and insufficient sight-lines for drivers at the intersection. Between 2010-2015 there were 29 total crashes in the vicinity of the intersection.

Two new by-right developments approved in the area, Mehr Farms and Summerstone, are likely to add more traffic to the already congested streets.

The improvements are part of a broader series of traffic projects underway across McLean.

The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. in at Cooper Middle School (977 Balls Hill Road).

According to the Fairfax County Department of Transportation, there are several traffic alternatives being considered for the site:

  • T-Intersection: This would solve queuing issues at the site while having a relatively small footprint. But this shift could also have an impact at the Balls Hill Road intersection with Dulany Hill Drive nearby.
  • Roundabout: This would allow the intersection to maintain the historic look of the intersection and maintain the state standards of design at the lowest cost. But roundabouts have been shown to have a substantial learning curve for drivers. The intersection would also have to undergo significant topographical changes and it would impact three homes currently under construction at the Mehr Farms development.
  • Dedicated Left Turn Lanes: This would be lower in cost than the T-Intersection and have a smaller footprint than the roundabout, but the turn onto Old Dominion Drive would be a quasi U-turn. The new turn lanes would also significantly impact the nearby Korean Presbyterian Church and the Mehr Farms development.

The design is expected to be finalized this fall, with design and right-of-way acquisition occurring between 2019 and 2023. Construction on the traffic alternative is scheduled to start in spring 2023 and continue until fall 2024.

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