Mega Projects in central Fairfax

A couple weeks ago, I went to a briefing on VDOT’s “megaprojects,” which are the series of large ($1B+) construction projects they are managing in northern Virginia.  Fyi, their informational website is here.

With construction season beginning and the Assembly having passed a major transportation bond, there is a lot of work to do.  Fortunately, a lot of it touches on the 34th Senate District.

Here’s a quick list of projects:

HOT Lanes (I-495):  Construction on the Beltway HOT Lanes is 63% complete.  That includes about 75% of the sound walls (we added extra $$ in FY 2009).  The majority of utility work has been done, as has the bridge demolition.  In the area of Dunn Loring, the Idylwood Bridge is back open, while the new bridges crossing the Beltway on Rte 236 should be completed in the fall.  This project is scheduled to open in 2013. 

Junction of 495/66:  Commonly referred to as “the Wall,” this junction has been marked for improvement since year 2000, at least.  Currently, VDOT is replacing pavement and improving ramps.   With its proximity to the Dulles Rail construction (more on that later), we are near “Ground Zero” for road construction.  My discussions with VDOT are all about  keeping as many lanes open as possible, especially during the rush.

Fairfax County Parkway & Fair Lakes Parkway:  This noted bottleneck in western Fairfax is headed for a major facelift.   This fall VDOT will begin preliminary work on a “grade separated” interchange to improve traffic flow, e.g. for commuters who use the County Parkway.  That projection is scheduled for completion in 2013.

Rte. 29 & Gallows Road:  Another major bottleneck in Merrifield, construction will begin this summer on expanding the intersection for both east-west and north-south traffic with additional lanes.  (Note:  this was originally planned as grade-separated but will be built “at grade”).

Route 50 Widening to Loudoun:  West of Route 28, the Lee-Jackson highway narrows to four lanes.  This summer VDOT will begin work on widening the road out to Loudoun in recognition of the new growth in Ashburn and west.   

What am I leaving out?

Obviously the “Rail to Dulles” project.  That one deserves its own journal, and it’s going to get it.  But not today.

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