Tysons, VA

County officials celebrated the completion of the Jones Branch Connector today, calling it a vital new link to improve connectivity in Tysons.

The Virginia Department of Transporation (VDOT) and Fairfax County officials held a ribbon-cutting this morning (March 5) at the corner of Scotts Crossing Road and Capitol One Drive in Tysons.

The new half-mile roadway, called Scotts Crossing Road, runs between Jones Branch Drive and Route 123 over the Beltway and includes two lanes of traffic, a bicycle lane and an illuminated sidewalk for pedestrians in each direction, according to a VDOT press release.

“A wide, raised median is also reserved to accommodate future transit,” the press release said.

Though the $60 million price tag for such a short stretch of the road may seem high, Bill Cutler, the district construction engineer for VDOT, said that “it speaks to the complexity of the project.”

In the future, if Fairfax County decides that the overpass no longer makes sense for vehicle and pedestrian traffic, it is designed in such a way that construction crews will be able to strip the concrete and repurpose the project, for example, to become a trolley way, Cutler said.

For now though, “the project is expected to relieve traffic along Route 123, at the Route 123/I-495 interchange and other locations,” the press release said, adding that more than 32,000 vehicles are expected to use Scotts Crossing Road per day by 2040.

Speakers and guests at this morning’s ceremony included Dalia Palchik and Jeff McKay from the Board of Supervisors.

“This is part of our economic success plan,” Palchik, who represents the Providence District, said. “We know that if we don’t have connectivity [and] mobility, it will make things harder and harder for people to get around enjoy coming and going to work.”

Following up on Palchik’s statement, Cutler said that this new connection will allow people using different modes of transportation to more easily move between the communities and neighborhoods in Tysons.

The project, which was approved by the county in 2010, is the first one to be completed from the Tysons Comprehensive Plan Amendment, according to the press release.

Work on the project started in 2017, and in late 2018, one traffic lane opened in each direction. By January, all four travel lanes were open.

“Final detail work” is expected this month, but shouldn’t impact traffic, according to the press release.

“The completion of the Jones Branch Connector marks a milestone in our collaborative efforts to improve our transportation network to support the growth of Tysons,” McKay said. “This project helps us move more people more efficiently and continues to build upon a grid of streets that encourages the use of multi-modal transportation alternatives.”

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