CLARIFICATION: The original version of this story stated that Loudoun County’s share was about $508 million. That was based on information released last week. The correct amount — $337 million — is used in this updated version.
Traffic in Loudoun County is often very much like the weather – everybody talks about it but nobody does anything about it.
In giving final approval June 14 to its debut Six Year Program, the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority put its money behind that transportation dialogue – to the tune of about $337 million.
According to Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chair Phyllis Randall, the county’s share of amounts to about 21 percent of the Six Year Program’s funding total and includes key project in Loudoun County that will directly address some of the county’s worst traffic problems.
Highlights include projects on roadways that are notorious in Loudoun County for being congested and hazardous – Route 9, Route 15 and Route 28.
The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority was created in 2002 by the Virginia General Assembly. It is a regional body that is focused on delivering real transportation solutions and value for Northern Virginia’s transportation dollars by bringing Northern Virginia jurisdictions and agencies together to prioritize projects and implement solutions.
Randall, who also serves as vice-chairwoman of the NVTA, called the Six Year Program a “historic milestone for the authority.”
“These 44 projects … will deliver major improvements throughout the region that will not just relieve congestion but improve the quality of life for all Northern Virginians.”
Specific Loudoun County projects included in the plan include:
- Dulles West Boulevard widening (Loudoun County Parkway to Northstar Boulevard): Project provides for the design, right of way acquisition, and construction of a major collector roadway from Northstar Boulevard to Loudoun County Parkway. The project includes the construction of a four-lane median divided roadway for approximately 2 miles within a 120 foot right of way and six signalized intersections. This project will include the construction or modification of the following at-grade intersections with Dulles Boulevard: Northstar Boulevard, Stone Springs Boulevard, Arcola Boulevard, Hutchinson Farm Drive, Dulles Landing Drive and Loudoun County Parkway. Dulles West Boulevard will allow east/west trips to navigate through the County without adding to the congestion of local streets in the urban growth area. In the future, Route 50 is planned to be limited access and this project will provide local access to businesses and an alternative route to U.S. Route 50 and Evergreen Mills Road. In addition to benefiting vehicular travel, Dulles West Boulevard will be designed to further promote the county’s commitment to high quality multimodal facilities and will include a 10’ foot shared use path one either side of the roadway to enhance the safety and mobility of pedestrian and bicycle movements. The road also supports the growth and development of the Arcola Center planned mixed use community and provides multimodal links to a planned 200 space park and ride facility, and supports the travel of residents and visitors of this community to access residential neighborhoods, retail, and employment centers.
- Northstar Boulevard (Shreveport Drive to Tall Cedars Parkway): Northstar Boulevard is planned to open as a four-lane controlled access divided road within a six-lane Right of Way from Tall Cedars Parkway to Shreveport Drive, including shared use paths (10-foot-wide) on both sides. Northstar Boulevard provides an alternative to Route 606 to points north from Route 50, alleviating congestion on Route 606 and creating better access to the Brambleton and Stone Ridge areas. VDOT has recognized Northstar Boulevard as part of a North/South Corridor of Statewide Significance due to its potential to reduce congestion on parallel north/south routes between I-95 and Dulles Airport and to connect travelers to activity centers in Loudoun County and beyond.
This project will construct approximately 2.25 miles of Northstar Boulevard as a minor arterial that will be a key north/south connection on the west side of Dulles International Airport. The north terminus of this project will construct the 4th leg of the Shreveport Road and Northstar Boulevard intersection and install a new Traffic Signal. This project will provide dedicated left and right turn lanes from Shreveport Drive to southbound Northstar Boulevard as well as turn lanes on the new Northstar Boulevard leg. Where this new segment of the Northstar Boulevard crosses over Evergreen Mills Road, directional ramps will be constructed on the east side of Northstar Boulevard to provide access to Evergreen Mills Road. This project will construct a new signalized intersection at U.S. Route 50. Left and Right turn lanes would be constructed along all approaches and a wide median that would allow for dual left-turn lanes on both Northstar Boulevard and U.S. Route 50. The intersection at U.S. Route 50 is an interim condition that is ultimately planned to be interchange but not part of this project. The southern terminus of this project at Tall Cedars parkway will be a T-intersection that this project would build the northern leg as well as additional improvements south of Tall Cedars Parkway to transition Northstar Boulevard back to the existing two-lane section south of the project limits.
- Prentice Drive extension (Lockridge Road to Shellhorn Road): Prentice Drive (VA Route 1071/VA Route 1071 Extended/Route 789 Extended) will provide an additional east-west connection across Broad Run. This major collector adds approximately 3.2 miles of 4 new through lanes of Prentice Drive from Shellhorn Road at Metro Center Drive to Lockridge Road and includes an additional connection of Lockridge Road West between Waxpool Road and Prentice Drive. The connection will provide multimodal access between the future Loudoun Gateway and Ashburn Metrorail stations. Specifically, the project provides a new alignment extension of Prentice Drive from the intersection with Lockridge Road to the west where it ties into Metro Center Drive at Shellhorn Road. This link will address a critical need for an additional east-west route across Broad Run to relieve congestion on Waxpool Road. Prentice Drive will also provide an alternative option to using the Dulles Greenway Toll Road. Commuters and commercial vehicles avoid the tolls by using a limited supply of collector roads and which thereby creates congestion on those roadways. Preliminary studies have been completed. This will be an urban, four lane divided roadway facility with on street bike lanes, a sidewalk, and a Shared Use path. This corridor is anticipated to serve bus routes to and from the planned Silver Line Metrorail Stations. It will connect Pacific Boulevard (VA Route 1036) to Shellhorn Road (VA Route 643) at Metro Center Drive in the Ashburn Community. This project will impact and improve the following intersections: Shellhorn Road and Metro Center Drive/Prentice Drive, Lockridge Road West and Prentice Drive, Waxpool Road and Lockridge Road West, Loudoun County Parkway and Prentice Drive and Lockridge Road and Prentice Drive. This project includes a large bridge span across the Broad Run floodplain. The western terminus of this corridor will connect to Metro Center Drive, which will provide direct access to the Loudoun Station Drive and a key greenway overpass that connects the north and south side of the station.
- Route 9 Traffic calming: The project provides traffic congestion mitigation, traffic-calming measures and pedestrian safety improvements on the Rt. 9 corridor, which bisects the fastest growing agricultural/recreational tourism economy in Northern Virginia. The project begins 0.070 miles west of Rt. 719 (Stony Point Road) and ends at Rt. 690N (Mountain Road). The project includes the following side streets: Stony Point (from Rt. 9 south 252’), Gaver Mill Road (from Rt. 9 south 250’), Rt. 690S/Hillsboro Road (from Rt. 9
south 455’). The project includes two roundabouts, minimum 4’ sidewalks on north and south sides of Rt. 9, streetscaping, pedestrian
lighting, raised and at-grade crosswalks, on-street parking, a closed storm sewer system and a shared-use path connecting to existing
and planned area trails. Additional improvements include overhead utility burial with duct banks for future data utilities and installation of a new drinking water main, sanitary sewer main and laterals. A September 2012, VDOT Location and Design Public Hearing was held and design features were approved by the VDOT Chief Engineer. The project’s Rt. 9 lane-width reduction to 11’, in conjunction with the roundabouts (western at Rt. 9/Rt. 719; eastern at Rt. 9/Rt.690S), raised and at-grade crosswalks and a 25-mph speed within the
Hillsboro limits contribute to the overall traffic-calming effect. The Rt.9/Rt.690S roundabout replaces an existing traffic signal, providing improved levels of service, adding additional capacity and providing safety benefits compared to the existing traffic signal levels of service improve from ‘F’ during AM and PM peak, to a LOS ‘B’ during AM peak and LOS ‘E’ during PM peak—a reduction in intersection delay of approximately 86% during AM peak and 58% during PM peak. This improvement reduces current corridor congestion and facilitates additional traffic load that will reroute to Rt. 9 via Rt. 690 as a result of the approved Smart Scale Rt. 7/Rt. 690 interchange, now at 50% design.
The project limits also incorporate an approved Transportation Alternatives grant shared-use-path—GapWay Trail—for connectivity toth e historic Hillsboro Town Hall, employment centers, civic and educational institutions. The shared-use path on the north side of Route 9 extends from the Route 9/Route 690S intersection east (0.22 mi.) to Mountain Road (Route 690N). The GapWay Trail project includes a crosswalk at the eastern entrance to Hillsboro Cemetery and a sidewalk on the south side of Route 9 connecting to the roadway project sidewalk.
- Route 15 Bypass widening (Battlefield Parkway to Montresor Road): This project will widen 3.5 miles of U.S. Route 15 from Battlefield Parkway to Montresor Road. This principal arterial will be widened from 2-lanes to 4-lanes divided between the limits described. Additional improvements are required to transition the improved 4-lane section to the existing 2-lane section north of Montresor Road. The project will also improve the intersection at King Street and Whites Ferry Road/Raspberry Falls Drive. Widening this key arterial route north of Leesburg will provided more capacity along the project corridor, relieve congestion that impacts Leesburg and the village of Lucketts, and reduce the attractiveness of secondary routes for commuters through Waterford and Stumptown. A shared use path will also be constructed along the east side of this project to connect pedestrians and bicyclists from Battlefield Parkway to Whites Ferry Road.
- Route 28 northbound widening (Between Dulles Toll Road and Sterling Boulevard): Project consists of the widening of northbound Route 28 from three to four lanes between the Dulles Toll Road and Sterling Boulevard. An additional thru lane will be added in the northbound direction, and the existing auxiliary lane configurations between the Innovation Avenue, Route 606 and Sterling Boulevard interchanges will be maintained but shifted to the east to accommodate the additional thru lane. The southern terminus will be at the north end of the Route 28 Widening, Area 3 Project that was completed in August 2017 and provided a fourth northbound lane from McLearen Boulevard to the Dulles Toll Road. At the northern terminus of the project, the 4th thru lane will terminate at the loop ramp exit to westbound Sterling Boulevard, although adequate pavement is being constructed to accommodate future extension of the 4th thru lane beyond the Sterling Boulevard interchange.
- Shellhorn Road extension (Loudoun County Parkway to Randolph Drive): This project entails constructing a continuous east-west corridor of Shellhorn Rd (VA 643) to Sterling Boulevard (VA 846) between Loudoun County Parkway (VA 607) and Pacific Boulevard. The multimodal corridor is planned to include an urban 4-lane road within 120 feet of right of way. The project includes 1 roundabout, 2 new signalized intersections, and 2 signal modifications.The project will extend Shellhorn Road from Loudoun County Parkway to Lockridge Road. This new 1 mile long, major collector road is planned to have a roundabout at its eastern terminus on Lockridge Road. The project will reconstruct 0.8 miles of Lockridge Road from Prentice Drive to Moran Road and realign Lockridge Road to tie into the planned Sterling Boulevard Extension from Pacific Boulevard. Randolph Drive will also be realigned to be a continuous north-south road that’ll connect Old Ox Road to Prentice Drive.
The new major collector road is a critical.
- Evergreen Mills Road intersection realignments (Watson Road and Reservoir Road: This project realigns 0.3 miles of Evergreen Mills Road (Route 621) from the bridge over Goose Creek to a point approximately 1,000 feet south of Reservoir Road. It also includes the realignment of Watson Road (Route 860) to align with the intersection of Evergreen Mills Road and Reservoir Road (Route 861). This project will construct right and left turn lanes from Evergreen Mills Road onto Watson Road and Reservoir Road. The project will provide safety improvements along the realigned portion of Evergreen Mills by addressing sight distance deficiencies, wider shoulders, and meet standard curve.
The NVTA hosted a variety of public meetings and forums to gather feedback on the candidate projects, receiving more than 1,200 comments during the public comment period.
With the adoption of the Six Year Program, NVTA is funding 122 regional, multi-modal transportation projects, totaling more than $1.975 billion.
For more information, visit thenovaauthority.org.