Tysons, VA

The new trails underway along I-66 now have a name: the “66 Parallel Trail.”

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved the name on Tuesday (Nov. 20) for the trails that will be added by the county and the Transform 66 Express Lanes Project.

In addition to the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) creating 22.5 miles of express lanes from I-495 to Prince William County, people can expect 11 miles of new pedestrian and bike trails in Fairfax County.

“Trail segments that cannot be accommodated within the highway right-of-way are to be funded by Fairfax County and constructed as part of VDOT’s locally administered projects,” according to county documents.

The county’s Department of Transportation (FCDOT) gathered name suggestions and held two public meetings in the spring. After 1,124 respondents took an online survey with name options, FCDOT staff recommended the “66 Parallel Trail” to the county board.

The names in the survey included:

  • Sixty-Six or 66 Parallel
  • Sixty-Six or 66 Ramble
  • Capital Gateway
  • Dogwood Trail
  • East-West Gateway
  • Heart of Fairfax Trail
  • Kaleidoscope Trail
  • Mid-County Trail

Braddock District Supervisor John Cook jokingly said that he wanted the name to be the “Smyth, Cook, Herrity and Smith Trail” — after the last names of the supervisors whose districts are affected by the name change.

Chairman Sharon Bulova said that “66 Ramble” was her favorite.

Images via VDOT

0 Comments

Two eastbound lanes of Route 7 are closed due to a multi-vehicle crash near Wolf Trap.

The crash occurred shortly before 10 a.m., according to a Fairfax County alert.

The crash is near Wolftrap Run Road and Google Maps shows heavy traffic congestion as of 10:15 a.m.

The eastbound right center lane, right lane and right shoulder are closed, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Map via Google Maps

0 Comments

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

0 Comments

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.

0 Comments

Fairfax County officials are set to consider changes to the intersection of Swinks Mill and Lewinsville Roads in McLean later this fall.

The Virginia Department of Transportation is currently studying the intersection.

The study “included survey, operational analysis, intersection concepts and collaboration with Fairfax County,” Jenni McCord, a VDOT spokesperson, told Tysons Reporter.

A traffic signal, a traffic signal with intersection modifications and a roundabout are under consideration, she said.

Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust said that the intersection would need more than a traffic signal to improve congestion and safety.

“Given the layout of the current intersection, installing a traffic signal is not straightforward,” Foust said. “Even though the intersection meets the VDOT warrants for a traffic signal, VDOT is required to evaluate other measures to make the intersection safer.”

Foust said that he plans to meet with VDOT and the Fairfax County Department of Transportation in late fall to discuss the options and funding.

“The final report is being drafted and should be completed later this fall, and will include high-level cost estimates for all three concepts being analyzed,” McCord said.

Map via Google Maps

0 Comments

Commuters and residents want to see more bicycle and pedestrian safety improvements along Route 50 in the Falls Church area.

At a meeting hosted by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) last night, VDOT officials and residents discussed different ideas for improving the route, which has up to 51,000 vehicles travel daily, according to VDOT.

The meeting coincidentally happened a day after a 40-year-old man was struck and killed at the intersection of Route 50 and Graham Road. On a map of reported crashes since 2013, that intersection had two reports of fatal crashes, along with dozens of other crashes ranging in severity from property damage to serious injuries.

A study is underway to evaluate potential safety and operational changes for three miles of Route 50 between Jaguar Trail and Wilson Blvd.

VDOT officials said that the study is looking at data showing crash hotspots, speed and traffic count from January 2013 to the spring of 2019 and projections out to 2030.

“We don’t go into a study with the solutions already in hand,” Allison Richter, the liaison for Fairfax and Arlington counties, said.

The possible improvements VDOT is looking at include:

  • traffic signal timing/operations
  • turn lane
  • turn restrictions
  • access management
  • pedestrian enhancements
  • innovative intersections

Richter said that bike and pedestrian safety improvements are under consideration.

About 50 people showed up for the meeting, including Fairfax County police, Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross, School Board Member Dalia Palchik and Tom Biesiadny, the director of Fairfax County’s transportation department.

Many of the people who lined up to provide feedback to VDOT pointed out specific problem areas — urging for time-restricted turn lanes, signal timing changes — and more focus on bicyclists, pedestrians and people using mass public transit.

“This area is becoming more urban over time,” one attendee told VDOT officials, adding that VDOT should focus on safety over speed for drivers.

Added safety measures could include two-way bike lanes on one-way service roads and more lighting, attendees said.

Sonya Breehey, a bike safety advocate, suggested traffic calming on the frontage roads.

“Arlington Blvd scares me,” Breehey said.

A handful of people called for VDOT to lower the speed limit from 45 miles per hour, with one person suggesting a new speed limit of 35 miles per hour.

One man who provided feedback urged VDOT to not forget about drivers, who might face slower speeds and longer travel times.

“Better late to dinner than dead,” someone from the audience shouted after the man finished commenting.

“Please be respectful,” the man responded.

People can take an online survey — which allows respondents to mark problem spots on a map and rank the six possible improvements — and submit comments to Bobby Mangalath, at 4975 Alliance Drive, Fairfax, Va. 22030 by next Thursday, Oct. 31.

VDOT plans to hold another information meeting when the study wraps up in the spring.

0 Comments

Next week, people can give their input on ways to improve Route 50 in the Falls Church area of Fairfax County.

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is holding a meeting on Monday (Oct. 21) to get community feedback about a Route 50 study that started in June and is currently underway.

The study is looking at potential safety and operational changes for three miles of Route 50 between Jaguar Trail and Wilson Blvd. Up to 51,000 vehicles travel daily in the area of Route 50, according to VDOT.

Possible improvements include:

  • traffic signal timing/operations
  • turn lane
  • turn restrictions
  • access management
  • pedestrian enhancements
  • innovative intersections

The meeting is set to take place in the cafeteria at Falls Church High School (7521 Jaguar Trail) from 6:30-8:30 p.m. A short presentation will start at 7 p.m., followed by time for questions with VDOT staff.

People can take an online survey and submit comments at the meeting or by Thursday, Oct. 31, to Bobby Mangalath, at 4975 Alliance Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030.

VDOT plans to hold another information meeting when the study wraps up in the spring.

Photo via VDOT

0 Comments

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

0 Comments

Drivers who regularly take Towers Crescent Drive might want to budget in more time now that the road has two new stop signs near Ring Road and is undergoing road work.

Currently, the road is being repaved, Ellen Kamilakis, a spokesperson for the Virginia Department of Transportation, told Tysons Reporter.

Towers Crescent Drive will soon have a new traffic pattern.

“The final roadway configurations will have one lane in each direction with either left-turn lanes or two-way left turning lane in the middle,” Kamilakis said. “In addition, it will have a bike lane in each direction.”

In response to Tysons Reporter’s question about when the repaving will be finished, Kamilakis said, “It should be relatively soon as the asphalt plants don’t stay open year-round.”

Multi-way stop signs were installed on Sept. 25 at the intersection of Towers Crescent Drive and Ring Road, Kamilakis said.

With the combination of the stop signs and the work blocking a southbound lane, traffic slowed down on Towers Crescent Drive when Tysons Reporter visited yesterday morning.

0 Comments

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

0 Comments
×

Subscribe to our mailing list