Tysons Corner, VA

Work planned for four Metro stations next summer will impact riders in Vienna, Merrifield and Falls Church.

The Vienna, Dunn Loring, West Falls Church and East Falls Church Metro stations on the Orange Line are slated to be affected next summer, along with four Green Line stations in Maryland. The work is a part of a multi-year project to reconstruct 20 station platforms.

Currently, Metro shut down Yellow and Blue lines south of Ronald Reagan National Airport this summer.

While that reconstruction plan was announced more than a year ago, more details on the Orange Line shutdown are set to get announced in September or October, WTOP reported.

“It is unclear how much of the work will be done with total shutdowns, and how much could involve single-tracking,” WTOP reported.

Until the plans are announced, let Tysons Reporter know in the comments if the Metro work next summer will impact you.

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The Virginia Department of Transporation is looking to secure an emergency contract for one of two McLean Roads undergoing long-term repair.

The 1300 block of Kirby Road and Swinks Mill Road by Scott’s Run are still closed due to severe storm damage from July 8 flash flooding. VDOT has said that both roads will stay closed for several months.

In an update yesterday (Thursday), VDOT said that it wants an emergency contract for bridge and road repairs at Kirby Road.

As for Swinks Mill Road, VDOT tweeted today (Friday) that reconstruction of the road’s bridger starts Monday (Aug. 12).

VDOT also provided information on the progress this week for both roads:

Kirby Road at Pimmit Run (VA-695)

  • Structure and bridge crews removed debris from Little Pimmit Run and Pimmit Run.
  • Soil boring cores and test results were completed.
  • Survey work and underground utility location is complete.
  • Design plans are being finalized for an emergency contract.

Swinks Mill Road at Scotts Run (VA-685)

  • Crews removed asphalt and guardrail debris from Scotts Run.
  • Soil boring cores along with results were completed.
  • Survey work and underground utility location have been completed.
  • Bridge design plans are complete.
  • Repairs will be performed by VDOT structure and bridge crews, who will begin work once ordered materials are received.

“Coordination with external agencies is ongoing to ensure efficient repair of damaged utilities, including coordination with federal/state permitting agencies to relocate Little Pimmit Run to its previous stream alignment,” according to the press release.

Kirby and Swinks Mill roads weren’t the only ones damaged — VDOT said that “extensive repairs” were made to 12 McLean-area roads right after the storm.

Photo 3 via VDOT

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The anticipation is almost over for bicyclists and drivers who have been waiting for permanent lane markings along Greensboro Drive by The Boro development.

Jennifer McCord, a spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of Transportation, told Tysons Reporter that the roadwork is being completed by a developer under permit.

“The developer plans to install the pavement markings for the bicycle lane on Greensboro Drive between Westpark Drive and Solutions Drive on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019, weather permitting,” McCord said. “The other markings should be in place by Aug. 21.”

“I’m not sure how a bike commuter, pedestrian, scooter (or an [Single Occupant Vehicle] even) is supposed to safely navigate this area,” a self-identified cyclist tweeted Aug. 1.

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Some Northern Virginia commuter buses are experiencing delays trying to get to Tysons — or not going there at all.

OmniRide started operating fewer buses on Thursday (Aug. 1) after the union that represents its bus operators rejected to extend the contract, which expired last week, Inside NoVa reported.

While the bus system primarily serves the Prince William County and Manassas areas, some of its routes take riders to and from Tysons.

Five days later, the work stoppage is still impacting bus schedules today (Monday).

More from OmniRide’s modified plan for today:

Our service plan continues to evolve, as a result of the dynamic situation.  We will continue to notify passengers of any further changes to service levels as soon as possible.

Ultimately, service levels depend on the number of operators who come to work, so please stay tuned for updates as we learn more, and keep in mind that the service frequencies listed below are approximate and dependent on anticipated operator attendance.

OmniRide will not have Express bus service for Mark Center and Tysons-Woodbridge today. Several other Express buses have also been changed. Fares are free today for OmniRide Express buses that are not running on a regular schedule today.

For people trying to get to Tysons, OmniRide is encouraging people to hop on a Metro Express bus or share a ride.

Let us know if the recent OmniRide bus service changes have impacted you.

Photo via Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission/Facebook

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Construction on improvements to Kirby Road south of Chesterbrook Elementary School is slated to start in September.

The Fairfax County Department of Transportation gave residents an update yesterday (Wednesday) on the sidewalks project spanning from Birch Road to Corliss Court along Kirby Road.

Latesa Turner, an FCDOT engineer, gave a presentation to a small group of people at Chesterbrook Elementary School (1753 Kirby Road) last night shortly after 7 p.m.

The project would add the following new elements to Kirby Road:

  • a 5-6-foot wide concrete sidewalk and ADA-accessible curb ramps
  • concrete curb and gutter
  • drainage inlets and pipes
  • driveway entrances
  • pedestrian crossing and median refuge at Powhatan Street
  • re-alignment of Chesterfield Avenue intersection
  • water main reconstruction and upgrades
  • road pavement and striping

The first phase of the project, which will last between three to four months, will involve closing the westbound lane of Kirby Road to construct the water line relocation, according to the presentation. Drivers can expect traffic maintained in both directions during the lane closure.

Then, the second phase will involve closing the westbound lane of Kirby Road for drainage and utility work, along with work on the curb ramps, driveway entrances, sidewalk and gutter. The second phase is expected to last five to six months, according to the presentation.

The contractor will come out within the next week for clearing and tree removal. Then, construction will start in September. The first phase is slated to be done around December and most of the work will be completed by February. All of the work is slated to be finished by April 2020.

Once finished, Turner said that the Virginia Department of Transportation will maintain the sidewalks.

When asked why it took two years for the project to start construction, Turner said that many steps had to take place after the idea was approved including finalizing the plans, receiving VDOT approval, permitting and bidding for the project after the land acquisition in late 2017.

Despite some grumblings among attendees about waiting for the improvements, many expressed support for the upcoming work.

“I’m really glad you’re doing this,” one attendee told Turner toward the end of the meeting.

Image 4 via Fairfax County

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As work continues on the Jones Branch Connector, Scotts Crossing Road, a road between Jones Branch Drive and the off-ramps for I-495 Express Lanes, will close overnight on Thursday (July 25).

The Virginia Department of Transportation said that Scotts Crossing Road will be closed from 10 p.m. on Thursday to 4 a.m. on Friday (July 26). Drivers heading north or south will have several detour options.

More from VDOT:

The ramps from the northbound and southbound I-495 Express Lanes to Scotts Crossing Road will remain open and traffic will still be able to access Route 123 via eastbound Scotts Crossing Road.

Route 123 traffic will still be able to access the northbound I-495 Express Lanes via westbound Scotts Crossing Road.

Currently, the Jones Branch Connector is undergoing construction for a $60 million project that will add two travel lanes and on-street bike lanes in each direction — the two lanes are set to open by the end of the year. Sidewalks are slated to open later this summer.

VDOT expects the project to be completed in spring 2020.

Map via Google Maps

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The City of Falls Church wants to know how people who live or work in the city get around the area.

The city has two surveys available — one for residents and one for workers — to gather transportation data.

The surveys will be open until the end of July, Deputy City Manager Cindy Mester told Tysons Reporter. After the surveys close, the results will get analyzed and then posted online.

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A person has been struck by a train at the Dunn Loring-Merrifield Metro station.

The incident was first reported by Fairfax County Fire and Rescue around 2:15 p.m. Firefighters were “working to access” the person struck by the train, the fire department said via social media; the person has since been extricated from under the train and taken to a local hospital.

Orange Line trains heading toward Vienna are instead terminating at West Falls Church, Metro said, with shuttle buses running between the West Falls Church and Vienna stations.

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The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is working to create a scooter program before scooter companies are allowed to zoom around however they please starting next year.

Legislation passed during the General Assembly session in January allows localities to regulate scooters and motorized skateboards, however, the localities have until Jan. 1, 2020 to take action to implement any regulations. After that date, the scooter companies can operate locally as they see fit.

Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust said there is a “sense of urgency” to create scooter rules on the county level.

“[The county has] to have an ordinance in by the end of this year or it becomes the wild, wild west,” Foust said.

Scooters, an increasingly popular alternative transportation option, are already in use in the county.

Staff from the Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) and the Department of Cable and Consumer Services presented a scooter program proposal to the county board during the Transportation Committee at yesterday’s meeting (Tuesday).

Chris Wells, the bicycle and pedestrian program manager for FCDOT, said that companies see scooters as an attractive form of alternative transportation.

“Fortune 500 companies are requesting this,” Wells said.

County staff suggested that proposed scooter program limit each company to 250 scooters, set the speed limit at 15 miles per hour and not restrict the devices to specific geographical areas of the county, according to the presentation.

Foust raised concerns about the 15 mph speed limit — “To me, it’s too fast” — and requested a demonstration.

The program would be regulated by the Department of Cable and Consumer Services.

When creating the proposal, county staff reviewed ordinances and pilot programs in nearby jurisdictions like Arlington, the City of Fairfax, the City of Alexandria and D.C., partly to possibly provide consistency around the area.

“The research is showing these are a type of transportation device used by a more diverse population,” Wells said, adding that “Tysons and Reston would be a great place for scooters to fit into the infrastructure.”

Overall, the board voiced support for the proposal.

Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay said he supports the program as a traffic calming tactic, although he said that “scooters are probably floating around somewhere” after major flash flooding earlier this week.

“It does send a message that we are a county that is trying to promote transportation,” McKay said.

While the scooter program is tentatively scheduled to go before the board during the December meeting, Sully District Supervisor Kathy Smith said she wants to see the board vote sooner on a scooter program proposal.

“I’m supportive of what’s on the table,” Chairman Sharon Bulova said, adding that the board can always amend an ordinance. “I think what staff is proposing sounds like a good way to get us started.”

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Construction work on a connector ramp from I-66 to the West Falls Church Metro station is set to start a year later than planned.

“Our project manager, Mark Gibney, has confirmed that construction of the I-66 connector ramp to the West Falls Church Metro station will begin construction in summer 2020 and finish by fall 2021,” Michelle Holland, a spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of Transporation, tod Tysons Reporter.

Currently, cars traveling eastbound on I-66 to the Metro station exit from I-66, turn right to head south on Route 7 (Leesburg Pike), turn left at the intersection at Haycock Road and then turn left onto Falls Church Drive. “VDOT has identified operational and safety issues with this maneuver, especially during AM and PM peak periods,” according to the project’s website.

The new ramp, which is a part of the I-66 widening project, would connect two existing ramps, spitting drivers out onto Falls Church Drive.

While the VDOT website currently says that construction is set to begin this summer and get completed by fall 2o20, the spokesperson said that the website will soon get updated to reflect the correct information.

VDOT plans to hold a public meeting with a construction update on Wednesday (July 10) from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Yorktown High School (5200 Yorktown Blvd) in Arlington.

Map via VDOT

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