Repairs are almost done along Leesburg Pike in Tysons as part of the Silver Line’s first phase.
The Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project shared photos of the concrete work on a new ramp along westbound Leesburg Pike, finished sidewalk repairs near the Spring Hill Metro station and finished work on the sidewalk, curb and gutter near Spring Hill Road.
Silver Line Phase 1 includes the four stations (McLean, Tysons Corner, Greensboro and Spring Hill) in Tysons along with the Wiehle-Reston East station.
“Crews will finish repairs along Route 7 and will complete final clean up and punch list items by the end of June according to a project executive,” according to the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project.
Photos courtesy Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project
The expansion plans for the Capital One Campus in Tysons may turn out differently than originally expected after the developer approached the Fairfax County Planning Commission last night with new ideas.
Major proposed changes to the plan include the elimination of the planned hotel and the addition of new office space and real estate, which Gregory Riegle, the lawyer representing Capital One, said was requested because of changes to the market.
“Candidly, the hotel industry in Tysons and the Northern Virginia area had a number of challenges in terms of oversupply even before the pandemic. The intervening circumstances have only exacerbated those realities,” Riegle said.
“The overall master plan of the campus remains the same,” Stephen Gardner, a senior planner with Fairfax County, said, adding that the amount of office space will jump to 67%.
Two buildings would slightly decrease in height if this adjustment is approved, while another building would increase its height to 305 feet, which is equivalent to roughly 28 stories, Gardner said. Open space on the campus would remain the same.
The building with the increased height would include 328,974 square feet of extra floor area.
After a brief discussion, the Planning Commission unanimously voted to favorably recommend the changes to the Board of Supervisors. The county board is set to consider the proposal on July 14.
It is unclear which businesses might take over the additional retail spaces provided by the proposed changes.
“Progress is continuing irrespective of situations with the pandemic and associated issues,” Riegle said, adding that the Wegmans is expected to be completed later in 2020, while the performing arts center will likely be done in 2021.
Image courtesy Fairfax County Planning Commission
To improve multi-modal transportation, the Northern Virginia Transit Authority (NVTA) wants to hear from the public about 41 project possibilities — three of which are in Falls Church and Vienna.
The updates will be part of a project called the Six Year Program that spans from fiscal years 2020-2025. The program aims to reduce congestion around the region, according to a press release.
“The projects being evaluated cover multiple modes of transportation, including roadways, transit and pedestrian/bicycle facilities,” the release said.
Local Projects Under Consideration
The Town of Vienna proposes an expansion of its Capital Bikeshare program to help people get to the Metro, according to NVTA documentation. Changes would include the addition of four new bike stations.
“This town implementation of the Capital Bikeshare system will connect residents and the surrounding community to transit and trail options in the I-66 corridor, including the Orange Metrorail line, planned commuter buses, the W&OD, and the planned I-66 trail,” the document said.
Costing $282,400, the project would be completed in 2025, according to the proposal.
The City of Falls Church proposed $8.3 million to improve walkability and bike-friendliness along Park Avenue and West Broad Street, which are typically hectic area.
“Park Avenue connects to many of the city’s civic, recreational, and cultural resources,” documentation said.
If chosen for funding, this project would be finalized in 2026.
Another project proposed by the city would address safety needs near the West Falls Church Metro station by encouraging multi-modal transit and fixing problematic areas, documentation said.
“A pedestrian fatality occurred on this stretch of Shreve Road earlier this year,” the document said. “The scope of this project includes professional and construction services for a new multi-use path to better connect the W&OD Trail with the West Falls Church Metrorail Station.”
This proposal would cost $6.9 million.
A complete list of project propositions from other NoVA counties and localities can be found online.
How to Get Involved
Due to the demand for funding and a budget cap of $522 million, NVTA cannot fund all of the projects and must choose which ones to complete based on a variety of factors, which include community input.
“Public input is an important part of the Six Year Program Update process,” the press release said. “Feedback is encouraged and all public comment provided will be reviewed and considered.”
People interested in leaving feedback can either visit the website or call 703-642-4652. The deadline to leave a comment is Sunday (May 24).
Final projects are set to be adopted on July 9 at a NVTA meeting, according to the press release.
Image courtesy NVTA
By leveraging their connections at their companies, Bryce Yetso, the general manager of Clyde’s, and Mike Dramby, Hoar Construction’s senior project manager, said that they have handed out over $3,000-worth of food at two regional hospitals within the last few weeks.
Though Hoar Construction works on a variety of projects, Dramby specializes in hospital construction and expansion for the D.C. area office, so he said he was already somewhat familiar with the needs of hospital workers during this hectic time.
Meanwhile, Clyde’s was forced to furlough workers due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but was able to bring people back to work recently with the new request for meals, according to Yetso.
“Bryce was looking to get his people back to work and we were looking for a way to help front line folks,” Dramby said, adding that it made sense to join the two efforts together.
Hoar Construction managed fundraising efforts and coordination with the hospitals while Clyde’s was responsible for meal preparation and delivery, the men said.
Though Hoar Construction originally offered to front the meal order cost, Dramby said that almost all of his coworkers contributed to the effort.
Dramby told Tysons Reporter that his company has been especially busy during this time, because hospitals are investing money in wing expansions to boost capacity for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Going forward, the two men hope to cater meals to medical staff at two other hospitals in the near future.
Photo courtesy Clyde’s Catering
Foot traffic in McLean will soon have a clearer path thanks to a new project updating several sidewalks.
Around 13,000 square feet of sidewalk at 250 locations around McLean will be updated, according to a press release. The updates are a part of a McLean Community Revitalization District project.
Backing the project, Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust said walkability is one of his priorities.
“These repairs will extend the useful life of our infrastructure and make it safer for our community to conduct business, run errands, recreate, and enjoy exploring downtown McLean,” Foust said in a press release.
The area around the intersection of Old Chain Bridge Road and Old McLean Village Drive is one of the places slated to receive a sidewalk facelift, according to the press release.
Sidewalks were chosen for the project based on criteria including excessive cracks, severe cross slopes and missing sections.
“Over the last few years, several other infrastructure improvements have been made in the area to make McLean a more walkable and bikeable community,” the press release said.
Construction was expected to begin in April and will likely be finished by the end of June, depending on the weather, according to the press release.
Photo courtesy Fairfax County
Work on a new ramp linking eastbound I-66 to the West Falls Church Metro station is expected to start today (Monday).
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) said in a press release that the work, which is a part of the I-66 Eastbound Widening Project, will connect two existing ramps.
“This direct access will save time for motorists on I-66 East who are headed to the West Falls Church Metrorail station and reduce traffic on Route 7,” Mark Gibney, VDOT’s design-build project manager, said in the press release.
More from VDOT:
When the project is complete, drivers will exit I-66 East for Route 7, stay left to connect to the ramp from Route 7 East to I-66 East, then stay right to reach Falls Church Drive and the West Falls Church Metrorail station.
All improvements will be performed within existing VDOT right-of-way.
Construction activities will begin with shoulder strengthening on the left side of I-66 East approaching the Route 7 interchange and along the left side of the Route 7 East ramp to I-66 East so traffic can be shifted to the left.
The two existing ramps will remain open during construction, although traffic shifts and occasional overnight traffic stoppages will be required. Construction will occur during daytime and nighttime hours.
VDOT expects the new ramp to open later this year.
Map via Google Maps
Crews have been busy working on projects in Tysons connected to the first phase of the Silver Line.
The Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project shared photos of the work has been like in Tysons throughout April.
Phase 1 includes the four stations (McLean, Tysons Corner, Greensboro and Spring Hill) in Tysons and the Wiehle-Reston East station.
Photos courtesy Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project
It might look like it’s getting torn down, but the Safeway Fuel Station in McLean is really getting a makeover.
The gas station at 1698 Anderson Road has been listed by Patch as one of the cheapest places to get gas during the Thanksgiving holiday.
“We are planning a remodel [and] expansion of the fuel center to provide more offerings,” Beth Goldberg, a spokesperson for Safeway’s parent company Albertsons, told Tysons Reporter.
Crews are working on the new Scotts Run Fire and Rescue Station 44 in Tysons East.
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue tweeted yesterday (Wednesday) photos of the work being done to build the two-story station, which is expected to be completed by the end of this year.
The fire station — which Fairfax County planners want to achieve LEED certification, according to TRINITY Group Construction — will have three bays, offices, living quarters for up to 12 crew members per shift and restrooms for people using the future adjacent athletic fields.
The parking lot for the fire station will have 22 spots for staff members and four public parking spaces.
The fire station was part of a proffer for Cityline Partners LLC’s Scotts Run Station South development.
Photos via Fairfax County Fire and Rescue/Twitter
As plans proceed for a newly approved pipeline in Pimmit Hills, a group of residents is continuing to push Washington Gas to reroute the project.
More than 100 Pimmit Hills residents gathered earlier this month to protest the installation of a new natural gas pipeline that Washington Gas plans to place in a neighborhood between Tysons and Falls Church.
The project, which was originally rejected twice by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), finally received the green light in late 2019.
The project includes roughly five miles of pipeline intended to support developmental growth in Tysons, according to documentation from the Pimmit Hills Citizens Association (PHCA).
Roughly five feet underground in the Virginia Department of Transit right of way, the pipeline will sit directly under the road, Washington Gas Spokesperson Brian Edwards said.
Lines will run under Cherri, Fisher and Peabody drives in Pimmit Hills, according to a map sent to Tysons Reporter by a member of the citizens association.
Major Concerns From Residents
PHCA Spokesperson Ashley Nellis told Tysons Reporter she worries that the 24-inch-thick and high-pressure pipeline will pose a risk to the safety of local families and cause “massive” disruptions to the area and the environment on several fronts.
The major concerns brought up by Nellis and other residents throughout Pimmit Hills include disturbances to the neighborhood during construction and long-term safety standards.
“This is a very dangerous proposition that has not gone well in other communities,” she said, citing an explosion that occurred in a town in Pennsylvania in 2018.
“We are the only residential neighborhood impacted by a high-pressure transmission pipeline that also happens to be routed along a known flood plain and next to the beginning of Pimmit Run Stream,” Robert Heilen, the president of the PHCA, said in a letter to VDOT.
Brian Edwards, the Washington Gas spokesperson, told Tysons Reporter that the pipeline will not negatively impact the regional flood plain.
After being pressed about community concerns, Washington Gas remains steadfast in its certainty that the pipeline meets, if not exceeds, safety standards according to Edwards, who added that the pipe is built with strong material so there is little possibility of a rupture.
“It is being designed at a very high standard so if someone were to even hit the line with a backhoe it would withstand the damage,” Edwards said.
Due to the nature of the project, VDOT does not require an environmental impact report for the project, according to Edwards.
The Community Fights Back
Politicians including Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust and State Sen. Janet Howell (D-32nd) and Del. Marcus Simon (D-53rd) are also backing the opposition efforts.
Along with its normal monthly meetings, the citizens association began hosting weekly pipeline committee meetings to discuss changes and efforts to halt the project.
As of today (March 16), more than 570 people have signed a Change.org petition to reroute the pipeline.
Currently, a community member is in the midst of filing a petition of appeal against the VDOT approval, aiming to halt the pipeline progress.
Though independently organized, PHCA set up a GoFundMe page to fund the lawsuit. So far, people have donated over $9,500 in two months. “It shows how adamantly the community is against this issue,” Nellis, the PHCA spokesperson, said.
The private community member is now in search of new representation after the original law firm dropped the case, Heilen added.
Edwards said he was not in a position to give a statement from Washington Gas.
Project leaders within the community originally hoped that VDOT and Washington Gas would install the new pipeline along Route 7 — an option that Washington Gas said would be more intrusive and time-consuming.
As it stands, the line construction in the Pimmit Hills neighborhood would affect roughly 7,000 commuters daily over the course of three years, according to Edwards. But, if the pipeline would instead be installed along Route 7, he said it would take six years — double the amount of time — and affect roughly 41,000 commuters daily.
For community members though, perks of moving the line to Route 7 include an increased sense of security for their families and easement of construction noise.
Edwards said that Washington Gas plans to proceed with construction block-by-block in order to lessen the burden on homeowners.
As community members continue to fight pipeline installation, Washington Gas is proceeding with preparation for the project.
Edwards wouldn’t give an estimated project start time but told Tysons Reporter that Washington Gas hopes the project will be completed by 2023.
Heilen said he was told that construction was supposed to begin in early April, but said he hasn’t received any updated information.
“Most of the route is already marked,” Heilen said. “I expect that once they feel the weather is stable, they will start digging.”
Photos courtesy Devin Buries