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Falls Church Staff Look to Stop CIP Projects From Stalling

City of Falls Church staff want to create a guide to ensure the projects in the Capital Improvements Program all get completed.

Currently, the staff is managing 26 projects — with four in jeopardy, according to a new report by city staff.

Projects falling under the parks, facilities, stormwater, sanitary sewer, technology and public safety categories are either on schedule or have “some challenges.”

The four projects that are not active or on hold due to a “critical issue” fall under the transportation category, which includes more than a dozen projects.

“The city’s Transportation CIP program is the largest CIP program and demands considerable staff time and attention,” the report says. “The city is unique from most neighboring jurisdictions in that it does not have a transportation department, and instead manages the Transportation CIP with a team of staff members from multiple departments.”

More from the report about the transportation projects facing issues:

Park Ave Great Streets

Full scoping of the Park Avenue Great Streets project reveals project is underfunded. [Northern Virginia Transportation Authority] application for $8.3M submitted in September; awaiting decision from NVTA Spring 2020. Reduced scope option may be possible.

Downtown Multimodal project [is] on hold; inquiring about schedule changes with VDOT. Need to be coordinated with Park Ave Great Street.

S. Maple Ave Roadbed Reconstruction

Roadbed Reconstruction and improvements at the intersection of S. Maple and Annandale. Fully funded. No project manager assigned. Paving already completed Fall 2018.

Oak Street Bridge

60% design completed in December using existing RSTP funds. Current funding shortfall is $928K. City submitted $928K application for SGR funds available in FY21. Pending the award of SGR in the spring, 100% final design will be complete and ROW will start fall 2020. Construction would be scheduled for early 2021.

“Staff continues to look to the future and how we can improve our project implementation process to avoid these delays, as they can increase costs,” according to the report. “A CIP project implementation manual has been in development to streamline project management and ensure projects are successfully advanced and completed.”

The report says that funding and staffing shortfalls often cause projects to derail. Not having managers for some projects can be a risk for funding, the report notes, adding: “Many staff resources have been directed toward City Hall building commissioning and Mary Riley Styles Library Renovation and Expansion.”

Staff presented the report to the Planning Commission earlier this week.

The new CIP is slated to be unveiled on Feb. 3.

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