Big Chimneys Park in the City of Falls Church will soon welcome new improvements.
Currently, the aging downtown park has a grill, a grass-covered area, picnic tables and a playground at 210 Gibson Street.
The park is named after two big chimneys, which are believed to have been apart of the first permanent structure built on the land in the city, according to the Falls Church Historical Commission.
The 1.7-acre park is slated to undergo an update, which includes:
- replacing aging play equipment
- adding ADA access from Gundry Drive
- updating landscaping and signage
- creating a new trail
- improving stormwater management
City Manager Wyatt Shields told the City Council at Monday’s meeting that the project will “really enhance that park and make it more welcoming.”
The construction contract is being finalized with the contractors before work starts in October, Shields said.
Shields said that the council may need to revisit the $1.3 million funding for the park’s improvements in the future.
“We are struggling actually to keep that project within the budget,” Shields said. “I’m hoping it won’t be a problem.”
The project is slated to finish next spring.
Image 1 via Google Maps, image 2 via City of Falls Church
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.
VDOT will hold a construction update meeting for the I-66 Inside the Beltway project on Wednesday, July 10 at Yorktown HS in Arlington. Visit https://t.co/8AV982AWI8 for more info. @VaDOTNOVA pic.twitter.com/SZpvo7iKaL
— John Foust (@johnfoustva) July 8, 2019
Map via VDOT
New improvements recently completed are designed to make Idylwood Park (7715 Virginia Lane) in Falls Church a little more accessible.
The park is tucked into the northeast corner of the I-66 and I-495 interchange.
According to the Fairfax County Park Authority website:
The project included fully paving the parking lot, which had been comprised of compacted gravel that presented maintenance and accessibility issues. Contractors from Southern Asphalt improved the parking lot and drive to comply with [Americans with Disabilities Act] accessibility requirements. Additional striped parking spaces were added by reconfiguring the overall layout to be more efficient.
Renovations started in June 2018, during which the park was accessible only via foot traffic.
The total cost of the project was $309,732, provided through Fairfax County’s infrastructure project fund.
Photo via Fairfax County Park Authority
If you’ve driven east out of Vienna along Maple Avenue, you’ve probably passed a new subdivision under construction at the intersection with Follin Lane.
Six lots are under development for the spot located around a small cul-de-sac off Mashie Drive.
The project attracted some criticisms from Vienna officials when seven lots were originally being considered for the lot with direct access from Maple Avenue.
While the houses could have been developed by-right, without extensive town approval, the developer changed the layout of the properties to reflect the feedback.
The new designs also show a tree barrier between Maple Avenue and three of the adjacent lots. A new bus shelter is also planned to be built at the site as part of the agreement.
(Updated 5:20 p.m.) As Tysons grows, it’s sucking up a lot of juice.
According to Dominion Energy, by 2022 the existing load on power lines from the Tysons and McLean areas is expected to exceed 300 megawatts, which means the energy provider needs to build an additional power source to avoid violating mandatory standards.
The Idylwood-Tysons 230 kilovolt (kV) Project would add a new 4.3 mile transmission line underground, right through the heart of Tysons.
The project was approved by the State Corporation Commission in September. Now, Dominion spokesman Charles Penn said the company is engaged in the engineering phase. Penn said an open house for the project is planned for sometime this summer.
Construction on the project is tentatively scheduled for this fall, with completion planned sometime in 2022.
Anyone who’s driven to the western end of Maple Avenue has probably spotted the enormous castle-looking building under construction just past Nutley Street.
The new building’s unusual design is representative of an eclectic mix of uses planned for 540 Maple Ave W.
The ground floor will host a Chick-fil-A restaurant with a ramp leading up to the Flagship Carwash on the second floor. The site will also include a wider pedestrian walkway in front of the building.
And after a series of delays and public backlash, construction has resumed on what is planned to be the first of a series of new projects approved under the Town of Vienna’s contentious Maple Avenue Commercial (MAC) process.
The process allows greater sizes and densities for new buildings on Maple Avenue as part of an effort to push back against rampant vacancies plaguing the town’s main street.
Signs from last year indicated that the new site had planned to be opened by winter 2018, a deadline that has come and gone with construction noticeably far from complete.
Construction at the facility had briefly stalled in 2018, but has made significant project over the last month. InsideNova reported the delay was likely related to the water table at the location. But whatever the reason, the work has resumed at the project.
No new timeline has been posted.
(Updated 3:30 p.m.) Ribbon-cuttings usually mark the grand opening of a new facility, but that’s not quite the case for McLean Community Center’s Ingleside Avenue Facility.
The project, which first broke ground in March 2017, is not fully completed yet but an invitation-only ribbon cutting ceremony will still be held tomorrow (Wednesday) at the McLean Community Center at 1234 Ingleside Avenue.
Sabrina Anwah, director of communications for the McLean Community Center, said the renovations are mostly complete and the facility is scheduled to open Jan. 2.
The $8 million project is a complete overhaul of the facility. Administrative offices are consolidated, ADA and fire compliance issues are addressed, and the facility’s lights, walls, and flooring are all updated or replaced. The renovations include two new multipurpose rooms and an enclosed courtyard.
Photo via McLean Community Center
(Updated at 4:30) — The Boro, a mixed-use complex being built near the Greensboro Metro station, has topped out.
Caroline Flax, senior analyst for site developer The Meridian Group, said the complex is as tall as it’s going to get, so it’s time for a review of the project and where it stands.
The project is broken into five lettered sections filling the block southeast of the Leesburg Pike and Westpark Drive intersection. The area is just west of the Tysons Galleria mall.
Furthest along is Block C, a grouping of two major buildings and a much smaller kiosk. A third building has been approved for the block but has not begun construction. The largest occupants of Block C are the Showplace ICON movie theater and a 437,000 square-foot office building. The kiosk in the one acre park will be where Bluestone Lane, an Australian-inspired coffee chain, will be opening their first Virginia location.
Flax said this side of the project is expected to be completed by the end of this year. In the first two quarters of 2019, Tysons Reporter was told, the office tenants will begin to move into Block C.
Meanwhile, to the northwest of Block C, the skeleton of Block A has been completed. Block A is the primarily residential area of the complex. In August, Flax said the tall towers of Block A, the 27-story apartment “Rise” tower and the 25-story luxury condominium “Verse” tower, had all of their floors poured into place. Work is now beginning on the facades and the interior of the buildings.
A 69,000 square-foot Whole Foods will occupy the base of the northern point of Block A, at the corner of Greensboro Drive and Westpark Drive.
Block B of the project, southwest of Block A, is The Loft. At five-stories tall, The Loft dwarfed by its northern residential neighbors. But the 77,000 square-foot building will stretch along the length of the new street Boro Place and hold two floors of retail and three stories of offices above that.
“Boro Place is the retail spine of The Boro,” said Flax.
Several restaurants are already signed to move into Blocks A and B, including:
- Fish Taco, a DC based taco chain
- Tasty Kabob, the first brick-and-mortar location for a popular local food truck
- Flower Child, a fast-casual restaurant specializing in healthy food
- North Italia, an Italian restaurant specializing in handmade pizzas and pasta
- Tropical Smoothie Cafe, a national smoothie chain
Taylor Gourmet had been signed to move into the area as well, but the chain filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy at the end of September and closed all locations. Flax said no decision on a new occupant has been finalized but that there are several prospects for the location under consideration.
The Jones Branch Connector will soon be open to one lane of traffic in each direction.
The Connector is a new roadway connecting I-495 Express Lanes and Jones Branch Drive to Scotts Crossing Road, providing an alternative route across the Beltway and linking the eastern and central areas of Tysons. The aim of the project is to relieve traffic on Route 123 and other congested intersections around Tysons.
Ellen Kamilakis, a spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), said the bridge is still on time and on budget for $58 million. The Connector’s partial opening is scheduled on or before Dec. 12. One lane in each direction on the roadway will be available, as well as one of the multi-use paths on the side of the road.
Construction on the project started in January 2017. Substantial completion is planned for October 2019, meaning the Connector will be completely operational. Full completion is planned for November 2019. When it’s finished, the Connector will have two travel lanes and on-street bike lanes in each direction. Aiming to help make Tysons more walkable, the project features eight to twelve foot lighted sidewalks.
The Connector is expected to carry more than 32,000 vehicles per day by 2040.
Kamilakis said the most recent update on the project is that roadway grading is underway, with crews readying to lay down asphalt. Work is being done concurrently on the storm sewers and utility work. Work is also being done on the project’s three bridges, which will cross over I-495.
Photos and map via VDOT