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Estimated cost of I-495 pedestrian bridge climbs amid rising Tysons property values

The upcoming pedestrian bridge over I-495 in Tysons has seen its estimated costs rise to $13.4 million as landowners lock in easements and right of ways needed for the connector.

The Virginia Department of Transportation says it has been working with private parties to secure deals, one of which involved a $698,920 payment agreement to the condominium Encore of McLean.

Until the bicycle/pedestrian bridge is created, residents east of the Capital Beltway have to use an interstate underpass at Route 123 or Route 7 overpass to get to Tysons Corner Center, essentially requiring vehicular trips to the mall.

When construction activities began in August, the project cost was estimated at $12.3 million. The $1.1 million increase is due to right-of-way costs, VDOT said.

Crews are developing a staging area where a drilling machine will be used to create the foundation for the pedestrians.

“Over the next several months, crews will continue installing a retaining wall off of Old Meadow Road behind the Dolley Madison Apartments and will begin installing the bicycle and pedestrian bridge foundations and piers on both sides of I-495 and in the median of the 495 Express Lanes,” VDOT spokesperson Mike Murphy said in an email.

Focused on building the bridge and part of a shared-use path on Old Meadow Road, the first phase of project is scheduled for completion in summer 2022.

“Construction of the second phase of the project, the section of the shared-use path along Old Meadow Road from Provincial Drive to Route 123, will begin once additional funding is identified,” Murphy also wrote.

According to VDOT, the rapid growth of the Tysons area has resulted in a significantly higher cost for acquiring the easements.

Among a handful of other right-of-way or easements transactions secured, Tysons Corner Property Holdings, the limited-liability company used by Southern California-based Tysons Corner Center owner Macerich, received no financial award.

The condominium Regency at McLean obtained a $35,500 agreement, and Dolley Madison finalized a settlement on Nov. 9, details of which could be released in early January, according to VDOT.

VDOT said the increased costs were part of the scope of the contract.

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