Tysons, VA

Fairfax County’s Board of Supervisors is supporting an application for federal funding to pay for a rehabilitation project along the GW Parkway.

Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust proposed the board matter, which supports an application for funding from the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America grant program.

The funding would support the parkway’s North Section Rehabilitation Program, which aims to reconstruct nearly 8 miles of the GW Parkway from Spout Run Parkway to I-495.

“The proposed project addresses serious deterioration of the parkway and implements significant safety improvements,” the board matter says.

If the funding is approved, the board matter says the National Park Service (NPS) plans to:

  • repave the road
  • repair stormwater management systems and walls
  • rehabilitate two historic, scenic overlooks
  • replace guardrails
  • construct new curbs
  • build emergency turnarounds along the north end

The project will also include work on a northern section, addressing a $1.7 billion maintenance backlog that includes $395 million for the parkway, the board matter says.

More than 33 million vehicles per year travel on the GW Parkway, according to Fairfax County. Last year, emergency work had to fix the cause of a sizable sinkhole on the GW Parkway, disrupting traffic for months in the area.

Foust noted that the project is meant to address safety and longevity issues for the parkway.

The Board of Supervisors voted to approve sending a letter of support for NPS’s application for the federal funding.

Map via Google Maps

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Tomorrow (Feb. 4), the Fairfax County’s Transportation Committee will meet to discuss upcoming projects around the area.

Board members will kick off the meeting, which begins at 3 p.m. in the Fairfax County Government Center, with updates and progress regarding the I-495 Express Lanes Northern Expansion project.

According to the documents posted ahead of the meeting, the I-495 project will include expansion of express lanes to George Washington Memorial Parkway, replacement of existing overpasses, implementation of a shared-use path and addition of new noise barrier walls.

Upgrades could save drivers up to 25 minutes during their peak-hour commute, especially with ease cut-through traffic congestion in local communities, according to the documents.

Other items on the agenda include bus and Metrorail improvements and the Bicycle Master Plan.

For people who bike to work, a shared-use bike path behind the noise wall will connect the American Legion Bridge to Maryland, the presentation said.

Meanwhile, an ongoing I-495 Regional Transit Study is expected to become public sometime this year.

A public forum to discuss the discuss environmental and technical reports from the project is set for March 12 at Langley High School (6520 Georgetown Pike) from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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Construction work on the Jones Branch Connector is set to finish this spring.

The bridge over I-495 connects the North Central and Tysons East neighborhoods and is undergoing a $60 million project that will add two travel lanes and on-street bike lanes in each direction.

The two travel lanes in each direction have opened already, Mike Murphy, a Virginia Department of Transportation spokesperson, told Tysons Reporter.

Now, the bike lanes and sidewalks are left.

“Weather permitting, the bicycle lanes and sidewalks will open to traffic within the next couple months,” Murphy told Tysons Reporter.

The project is still on track for spring 2020 completion, Murphy said.

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Kirby Road reopened yesterday in McLean, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) announced.

The 1300 block of Kirby Road closed in July due to severe storm damage from flash flooding, along with Swinks Mill Road, which reopened in October.

Martins Construction Corporation was awarded the $2.1 million emergency contract. The work included relocating Little Pimmit Run, rebuilding the washed-out section of Kirby Road and reconstructing the bridge over Pimmit Run.

The work was completed ahead of the Dec. 15 deadline — a date VDOT set to incentivize the contractor to get the work done as quickly as possible. VDOT officials said in October that they were offering up to $2,000 for every day completed early — capped at $120,000.

One of the reasons the work took several months to complete was because work could not be done simultaneously on the bridge and roadway since it would cut off access to 21 homes, VDOT official Denise Cantwell said in October.

Work to add surface asphalt and striping is expected to be completed by May 2020.

“Landscaping and other detail work will be completed over the next few weeks during normal work zone hours, weather permitting,” according to VDOT.

Photo via VDOT

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The City of Falls Church wants to update Oak Street Bridge, but funding uncertainty leaves the project without a distinctive start date.

Even though the damage to the bridge from the flooding in July has been completely repaired, the Falls Church Planning Commission still met last month to discuss the construction of a new bridge.

Now the city is just awaiting the results from grant applications — which will inevitably fund the project, Susan Finarelli, a spokesperson for the city, said.

Initial concept designs are in the works to rethink the aesthetic appeal, modernize the bridge, improve pedestrian and traffic safety.

The project is currently in the design phase, which should be completed from August 2020 to February 2021, potentially allowing construction to begin shortly after, according to a planning commission presentation.

Due to safety concerns, the bridge is on a yearly inspection list, which monitors at-risk infrastructure projects. Originally built in 1953, the bridge needs to be redone for engineering improvements to increase the weight limit.

“We will be lengthening the bridge approximately two feet on either sides,” a representative at the Oct. 21 Planning Commission meeting said, adding that pedestrians will have easier access to Tripps Run.

The project is expected to cost around $2.6 million.

The Planning Commission made a unanimous recommendation for the City Council to relocate a utility pole so it isn’t in the middle of the sidewalk, include adding wider sidewalks, a crosswalk for Tripps Run and decorative guard rails on the southeast side of the bridge.

Image via The City of Falls Church

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Drivers should plan to avoid Scotts Crossing Road in Tysons this week due to a series of closures at night.

The Virginia Department of Transportation announced that the road will be closed between Jones Branch Drive and the I-495 Express Lanes starting tonight (Nov. 18) until Friday, Nov. 22, from 9:30 p.m. to 4 a.m. the following day.

The closures are related to paving as part of the Jones Branch Connector project, according to VDOT. Several detours will be in place for drivers.

The Jones Branch Connector project expects to have two lanes in each direction open by the end of the year and final completion in early 2020, according to VDOT.

Map via VDOT

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Work is underway to get flood-damaged Kirby Road in McLean reopened before the end of the year.

At a meeting hosted last night (Thursday) by Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust, officials from the Virginia Department of Transportation told attendees about the process behind reopening Swinks Mill Road and about the work done on Kirby Road.

The 1300 block of Kirby Road and Swinks Mill Road by Scott’s Runclosed due to severe storm damage from July 8 flash flooding. Swinks Mill Road reopened last week.

Kirby Road was damaged in two places from the storm — the roadway and the bridge. For about 12 hours after the storm, 21 homes were landlocked.

VDOT was able to restore access to the homes by 2 a.m. on July 9, VDOT official Denise Cantwell said.

After some delays with the bidding process, Martins Construction Corporation was awarded the $2.1 million emergency contract for repairs, Cantwell said.

The roadway work is expected to done by mid-November and then the crews will switch over to the bridge to get that done by mid-December. The date to get everything back open is Dec. 15.

To get the work done as soon as possible, VDOT has incentivized the contractor by offering up to $2,000 for every day completed early — capped at $120,000. And if the contractor goes past the Dec. 15 deadline, they will then have to pay $2,000 for every day the project is late.

Cantwell said that work cannot be done simultaneously on the bridge and roadway because then access would be cut off to the 21 homes again.

Work to add surface asphalt and striping is expected to be completed by May 2020. The work is dependent on the weather, Cantwell said.

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Drivers have one week left to use the Vaden Drive Bridge over I-66 before it closes and gets replaced by a new bridge.

The bridge, which is near the Vienna/Fairfax-GMU Metro station, will be closed for about 10 months starting at 9:30 p.m. on Oct. 18.

The closure is apart of the Virginia Department of Transportation’s multi-year Transform 66 project.

“The previously announced bridge closure is expected to cut in half — from 24 months to 12 months — the time needed to demolish the existing bridge and construct a new one,” according to an update yesterday from VDOT. “This shortened schedule will help reduce construction impacts on adjacent communities and roadway users.”

A new bridge is getting built to accommodate more cars and the I-66 widening. People can keep a lookout for the construction to start on the new bridge in November, with an anticipated opening next September.

While the bridge is closed, drivers will be detoured to Nutley Street to get to I-66. Pedestrians will be detoured to the pedestrian bridge at the Metro station.

Demolition of the bridge is expected to be finished by early December, according to VDOT.

Crews will also work on the intersection of Saintsbury Drive and Nutley Street while the detour is in place.

The parking garages at the Metro station will remain open.

Image via Google Maps

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An upcoming meeting at the end of October will provide an update to locals about work to repair two flood-damaged roads in McLean.

The 1300 block of Kirby Road and Swinks Mill Road by Scott’s Run closed due to severe storm damage from flash flooding in July.

Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust will host the meeting with county staff and representatives from the Virginia Department of Transporation (VDOT) on Thursday, Oct. 24.

“This meeting will still provide residents with the opportunity to learn more and speak directly with VDOT and county staff regarding specific questions,” Foust said in an email to constituents.

VDOT expects Kirby Road to reopen in mid-December. While VDOT has said it planned to have work on Swinks Mill Road done by the end of September, Foust said in an email to constituents that it is now slated to finish in early October.

The meeting is set to take place at 7 p.m. at Chesterbrook Elementary School (1753 Kirby Road).

Attendees will have the chance to ask officials questions about the progress of the repairs.

Photo courtesy VDOT

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Work to repair one of two flood-damaged McLean roads is taking longer than originally expected.

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. The Virginia Department of Transporation (VDOT) has said that both roads will stay closed for several months.

In an update yesterday (Thursday), VDOT said that work on Kirby Road is slated to be finished in mid-December instead of late November.

“The road is expected to safely reopen to through traffic in mid-December, and final asphalt and lane striping will continue through May 2020,” VDOT said in an update yesterday (Thursday).

“Martins Construction Corporation has been awarded a $2.1 million emergency contract for repairs, and work is anticipated to begin the week of Sept. 23,” VDOT said.

Meanwhile, work on Swinks Mill Road is expected to be done by the end of this month, VDOT said, adding that crews are currently working on reconstructing the bridge deck and making sub-structure repairs.

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

Swinks Mill Road at Scotts Run

In the last month, crews have:

  • Excavated and poured concrete working surfaces on the downstream side on which the footers will be built
  • Installed rebar and poured two footers on the downstream side
  • Installed rebar and support for the stem wall on the downstream right-side abutment
  • Partially installed rebar for stem wall on the downstream left-side abutment

Kirby Road at Pimmit Run 

Martins Construction Corporation’s work includes:

  • Relocation of Little Pimmit Run to its previous stream alignment in compliance with federal/state permitting agencies
  • Rebuilding the washed-out section of Kirby Road with concrete and rip rap
  • Replacement of a more than 50-year-old, 24-inch sanitary sewer line
  • Reconstruction of the bridge over Pimmit Run with work on the abutments, wing walls, parapets, bridge deck and approaches

Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust wrote in an email to constituents yesterday that he is working with other elected officials to set up a community meeting “to provide residents with an opportunity to learn more about these emergency repairs and ask questions.”

Photo courtesy VDOT

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