Tysons Corner, VA

As construction gears up for widening Route 7 from Reston to Tysons, upcoming “Pardon Our Dust” meetings will provide information on the $313.9 million project and seek public feedback.

The proposed Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) project will transform nearly seven miles of Route 7 between Reston Avenue and Jarrett Valley Drive. The project includes widening Route 7 four to six lanes, adding shared-use paths, replacing the bridge over Difficult Run and revamping intersections along the corridor.

“These improvements aim to enhance safety, decrease congestion, increase capacity, and expand mobility for all users, as part of Fairfax County’s Comprehensive Plan,” according to VDOT.

VDOT will hold a public meeting next Tuesday (May 7) at Forestville Elementary School in Great Falls and a second one the following Tuesday (May 14) at Colvin Run Elementary School (1400 Trap Road). The meetings will run from 7-9 p.m. with a presentation at 7:30 p.m.

At the meetings, the team will share information on the design-build phase of the project, including the latest design and schedule, and the transition to construction work, as well as answer questions on stormwater management, right of way, environmental topics, traffic engineering and noise walls.

The current schedule for the project on VDOT’s website says, with expected completion in July 2024:

  • late summer 2018-summer 2020: final design
  • early 2019-early 2021: right of way
  • spring 2019-summer 2023: utility relocation
  • spring 2019-summer 2024: construction

Members of the public can provide input at the meetings and can email ([email protected]) or mail (4975 Alliance Drive) comments to VDOT by May 26.

Map via VDOT

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After losing Pier 1 Imports a few months, a shopping center near the Greensboro Metro station will soon have Burlington fill up one of its vacant spots with coats, clothes and home goods.

Formerly known as Burlington Coat Factory, the national off-price department store chain will set up shop in Sports Authority’s former spot at 8355 Leesburg Pike.

The store will help occupy one of the noticeable gaps in the shopping center. The space for Pier 1 Imports, which shuttered its doors at 8311 Leesburg Pike in January, currently has a “For Lease” sign.

A sign outside of the Greensboro Metro station says that the store is “coming soon” and asks people interested in jobs to text “RETAIL” to 97211.

Building permits indicate that work, including demolition and framing, is getting done on the site.

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Several new streets and major improvements to existing ones are in the works for Tysons.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors made a small adjustment on Tuesday (March 19) to make developers pay a little more of their share, but the report offers a glimpse at what’s ahead for local roadways.

With no discussion, the Board voted unanimously to approve a 1.9 percent increase in the developer contribution rate to the Road Fund and approval of guidelines for those funds’ usage in Centreville and Tysons.

“One of the principles of the Comprehensive Plan for each of the road fund areas is that development above the baseline level established in the plan may be approved, if developer mitigates the impact of such increased density or intensity by contributing to a fund for the provision of off-site road improvements,” staff said in a report. “All aforementioned road funds function in this manner.”

The staff report also included a list of transportation projects either underway or in planning for Tysons’ streets.

  • Route 123 Improvements: Changes planned for Route 123 in Tysons East in the early stages of being developed as a “superstreet,” which would modify left turn movements to facilitate regional through movement. The project has finished simulations and is currently undergoing initial design.
  • Route 7 Widening and Interchange: A study has been recently completed on a plan to widen Route 7 and implement new improvements at the Route 123 interchange. Stakeholder meetings are planned for this summer.
  • Cleveland Ramp Alternatives: A new ramp is planned to connect the Dulles Toll Road to new sections of the Tysons East grid of streets. Greater access to the Dulles Toll Road is part of several transportations discussions currently ongoing in Tysons.
  • Jones Branch Connector: An alternative access route from eastern to western Tysons passing over I-495. The project is currently in construction with completion planned for this fall.
  • State Street: A new street, named State Street, is being developed to connect Boone Boulevard and Greensboro Drive in Tysons. A study of the project has been completed and options for project implementation are being discussed.
  • Lincoln Street: Another proposed new street to connect Route 123 to Magarity Road, intersecting with Old Meadow Road and other future streets. The core idea for the new street is to move traffic from existing developments northeast of Tysons Galleria to Magarity Road. A feasibility study is ongoing.
  • Center Street: A new street planned within the Tysons urban center. A report is expected sometime this summer.

Many of the new streets listed in the report are centered around the areas northeast of Tysons Galleria and in Tysons East, the points at either end of the Jones Branch Connector and both planned sites for major redevelopment.

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Locals can provide input on proposed road improvements near Tysons Corner Center at a meeting tonight (Wednesday).

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) have teamed up to provide residents the opportunity to speak directly with road engineers and transportation planners at a community meeting.

VDOT and FCDOT are considering a redesign of the connection between Gallows Road, Tysons One Place and Route 7, possibly creating a three-way stop condition at the intersection of Kidwell Drive and Tysons One Place to improve traffic flow.

The design also suggests creating a designated space for left-turning vehicles and bike lanes in both directions on Kidwell Drive, which would complete the designated bike route between the Washington and Old Dominion Trail and downtown Tysons.

A separate proposal would stripe parking lanes where parking is allowed along West Street.

The meeting is set to start at 6 p.m. at the Providence Community Center at 3001 Vaden Drive in Fairfax.

The comment period for the proposal ends on April 3. Paving work will then start later that month and end in November.

Photo via Fairfax County

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Virginia State Police say an altercation between drivers resulted in a gunshot just south of Tysons.

The incident was reported to have taken place on I-66 at the Route 7 exit ramp, near Pimmit Hills at around 1:38 p.m. this afternoon (Friday).

According to police:

When troopers arrived on scene, they found a Toyota Highlander stopped on the shoulder with a bullet hole in the front, driver’s side, quarter panel near the headlight. No bullet was recovered.
The Toyota’s adult male driver said that a black Audi sedan with tinted windows cut him off on Interstate 66 as they were both headed east and merging from three to two lanes.. The Toyota’s driver sounded his horn in response, at which point the driver of the Audi “brake checked” him. Then the Audi pulled up alongside the Toyota and the driver displayed a handgun and fired a single round at the Toyota.
The driver of the Toyota was not injured and was not able to provide a valid tag number of the suspect vehicle.
Anyone who may have witnessed this incident or has information related to it is encouraged to call the Virginia State Police at 703-803-0026 or by cell at #77. The investigation remains ongoing.
File photo
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(Updated 1:40 p.m.) — The Tysons Pier 1 Imports is the latest victim of a series of closures that’s hit the furniture and decor chain.

The store is located at 8311 Leesburg Pike in a shopping center just southwest of the Greensboro Metro station.

Everything in the store, including the fixtures, is on sale. Most discounts range from 20-30 percent off in addition to existing sales. Items in the store range from large furniture and rugs to candles and bath bombs at less than $10.

As of Friday, the store was still around three-quarters full of items for sale, though with one scented air freshener and candle less than when the reporter arrived.

According to a spokesperson for Pier 1 Imports, the Tysons location will close late next month.

“As a matter of practice, we do everything we can to support our associates during this time of transition,” said the spokesperson in an email. “Pier 1 Imports continually reviews new and existing store locations to make sure we’re operating as efficiently as possible. Where necessary, based on that review, we make the strategic business decision to close certain locations on a case-by-case basis.”

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It’s been nine years since Hazleton Laboratories, later Covance, closed the doors of its facility near Wolf Trap, infamous for its testing on monkeys and beagles — but life could soon be returning to the site.

Toll Brothers, a real estate developer, has plans to build 102 single-family homes northeast of the intersection of Route 7 and Towlston Road. The new project, called Grantstone, is a by-right development that has generated concern among neighbors who say the new development could overburden the nearby roads.

“Despite the fact that it is by-right, they’ve been cooperative,” said Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust. “We’ve had two well-attended community meetings to identify issues of concern. They’ve been willing to work with us. There’s not a lot of things we can do as long as they stick to subdivision ordinance.”

One of the biggest items of concern has been the new development’s impacts on Towlston Road, a two-lane street to the west of the property. The Great Falls Citizens Association passed a resolution last summer calling on the Virginia and Fairfax County departments of transportation to reexamine the issue of how much traffic will be generated on the surrounding streets.

Foust said the new housing development aligns fortuitously with a plan to widen Route 7 from four lanes to six lanes, as well as make new intersection improvements.

“The Department of Transportation will not grant access onto Route 7, so they’ll have to access the site from Towlston,” said Foust. “Eventually, that’s going to work very well since we’re widening Route 7 and the plan is to dramatically improve the intersection at Towlston. [That will mean] adding a couple lanes to the dedicated right and left turning lanes. But that’s a couple years down the road.”

While construction of 102 new homes was planned to start in early 2019, as of yesterday (Wednesday) most of the 113,000 square-foot property visible from outside the “do-not-enter” signs remains overgrown, with cracked roads the only sign of the former facilities. Foust said the development is currently in the site plan review process, and county records show the review was approved on Dec. 21.

Foust said the Grantstone development is being done across two phases, and the first home sales are unlikely to start for another two or three years.

“It’s a long process to go through,” said Foust. “That’s another reason the traffic issue is a little less concerning. We are concurrently making progress on Route 7 widening. By the time they’re fully built, I’m confident Route 7 will be widened.”

The Route 7 widening project hit a snag last summer when the costs came in at $95 million more than was originally estimated. In June, the Board of Supervisors voted to approve $40 million to help close the project’s funding gap.

Map via Fairfax County

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