Del. Danica Roem Announces Route 28 ‘Centreville Road Corridor Improvement Study’

| August 20, 2019 | 0 Comments | News

Del. Danica Roem holds a media conference along Route 28 in Yorkshire to announce the VDOT Centreville Road Study.

When in 2017 Danica Roem-D ran to become the Virginia House Delegate to represent the 13th District, she made fixing Route 28/Centreville Road in Manassas and Manassas Park the first priority of her campaign. Monday, she shared that the promises were coming to fruition.

Roem announced the start of a Centreville Road Corridor Improvement Study at a media conference she held along Route 28 in the Yorkshire area of Manassas, Monday at 3 p.m.

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) study will examine replacing stoplights along the Virginia State Route 28 corridor between Blooms Quarry Lane and the Prince William/City of Manassas Park line to the Bull Run bridge at the Prince William/Fairfax County Line.

The study would look at alternative intersection designs such as roundabouts, overpasses, flyers, and other concepts to get traffic moving more quickly along the Route 28 Corridor.

The study administratively implements HJ 68 and HB 2466, legislation introduced by Del. Roem in 2018 and 2019 respectively. VDOT decided to fund the study with existing money without requiring approval or direction from the Virginia House of Delegates. The study will cost $300,000, making it the least expensive option proposed in the House.

Roem explained that Route 28 became a key issue for her because residents were clamoring for someone to take the lead on it.

“When I ran for office in 2017, the number one issue I heard from voters in Manassas and Manassas Park was that they were spending too much time on the road and not enough time with their families,” said Roem. “This study will give us a new opportunity to comprehensively analyze alternative intersection designs along the Route 28 corridor in Yorkshire. It will also provide us with the best options to deliver on my promise to improve my constituents’ everyday commutes and quality of life.”

It is Roem’s hope that the study will lead to improvements that will make the road “quicker” and “safer” along 28 and in neighborhoods. It will join other improvements currently being made along Route 28 or soon to come. They include road widening projects in Centreville funded by Fairfax County after the majority caucus in the House of Delegates voted against NVTA funding for that stretch of road;* new traffic patterns and changes to turning lanes in Manassas Park and Manassas to the Fairfax line, including road improvements to Connor Drive and in the area of Euclid and Liberia Avenue. It also joins the road widening projects underway on Route 28/ Nokesville Road in the Brentsville District heading towards Fauquier County.

The City of Manassas is funding its own Route 28 improvements with the Matthis Avenue Corridor Revitalization Project.**

Prince William County government is considering two additional ways to improve Route 28 in its jurisdiction. One is the Godwin Drive Extension from Sudley Road to Route 28.  The Prince William County Supervisors are awaiting information from the Army Corp of Engineers to find out the environmental feasibility. Another choice is the widening Route 28 in Yorkshire.***Once that information is provided to the supervisors, the project will be put up for a bond referendum on the November ballot.

Others joined Roem, Monday afternoon, to speak approvingly of the study.

“On behalf of the Commonwealth, I am pleased to kick off the Centreville Road (Route 28) Operational Improvements Study,” said Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine. “Route 28 is a key transportation priority, and this strategically targeted study will allow us to identify affordable and timely solutions.”

“I appreciate having Delegate Roem as a dedicated colleague in the House focusing on Route 28,” said Senator Jeremy McPike (SD-29) who also represents the greater Manassas and City of Manassas Park portion of the Route 28 corridor. “We need all options on the table to provide long-overdue relief for our community.”

Jeanette Rishell, Mayor of the City of Manassas Park and member of the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority [NVTA], expressed approval of the new corridor improvement study that will analyze intersections in her jurisdiction.

“After so many years of inaction regarding fixes for the congestion on Route 28, we are very happy that Delegate Roem, through her efforts in the General Assembly, is heavily focused on actively pursuing transportation solutions for the Route 28 corridor. This alternative intersection design study is part of her many efforts.”

MapQuest map of Route 28 and surrounding road in Yorkshire, City of Manassas, Manassas Park and Prince William County.

Councilmember Donald Shuemaker of Manassas Park thanked Roem for her sense of urgency even as they wait on long-term construction projects. Councilmember Hector Cendejas of Manassas Park said this means that “future generations can have a safer Route 28 corridor.”

Paul Hebert, President of the Prince William Professional Firefighters Local 2598, supports the new study because of its potential to provide safer transportation options for law enforcement and first responders along the Route 28 corridor.

“While I was assigned to the fire station in Yorkshire, there were many instances where traffic on Route 28 had an extremely negative impact on our response time to emergencies,” Hebert said. “In our line of work, every second counts, whether it is a structure fire, or heart attack call. The traffic on Route 28 places lives in danger, not just on that stretch of road, but in the community that surrounds it.”

Roem worked with VDOT Secretary Shannon Valentine and Deputy Secretary Nick Donohue as well as Helen Cuervo, Dic Burke and Aleksandra Tuliszka from VDOT’s Northern Virginia District for the last year and a half to create this study which implements HJ 68/HB 2466, both of which had multiple co-patrons in the General Assembly.

Raheel Sheikh, the Democratic candidate for Coles District Supervisor, attended the media conference. He said he moved to Yorkshire after living in Centreville, buying a beautiful house for less money than it would cost in Fairfax County. However, he soon realized the additional five-minute commute he had expected became 45 minutes on average during rush hour.

Traffic also made it difficult to travel within his own neighborhood. He eventually sold the house though he still resides in the district.

Sheikh said he believes the changes will be beneficial to Coles residents and those living farther out in western Prince William as well. It will also make neighborhood roads safer with few people using those lanes as cut-through. He also believes it would benefit businesses located along Centreville Road. He appreciates all that Roem and VDOT are doing on a state level, and hopes to make improvements the county level should he be elected.

Kenny Boddye, the Democratic candidate for the Occoquan District, attended the media event to support the study as well. He said many Occoquan residents avoid Route 28 and instead cut through Clifton to get to Fairfax County.

“Route 28 has been a major traffic problem for over a decade,“ Boddye said in a statement. “Two-thirds of Prince William County’s workforce commutes outside of the area for work, and Route 28 is one of the major routes commuters use every single day. Prince William families have been feeling the pain of this route for a long time.”

“Commuters and residents of the western part of the Occoquan District, especially those in the Yates Ford and Occoquan Forest areas, oftentimes can’t even back out of their driveways during rush hour because of traffic congestion. Fixing Route 28 will go a long way toward fixing this problem, and addressing this head-on has been long overdue.

“As Occoquan District Supervisor I pledge to work hand-in-hand Delegate Roem, and other state and federal partners to prioritize investments into the Route 28 corridor to ensure the best practices of this study are brought to fruition.”

Collin Robinson of Gainesville said the project is long overdue. “I’ve been here for 14 years and this is the one road you try to avoid.” He said it rivals I-66 in congestion.  He said he, “can’t imagine” how folks who live nearby deal with the traffic on a daily basis.

Robinson praised Roem for getting the study approved. “It was a key commitment to her people.”

Delegate Danica Roem (D-13th) represents the City of Manassas Park and the Prince William County portions of Haymarket, Gainesville and Manassas in the Virginia House of Delegates. A lifelong Prince William County resident from Manassas, Roem reported about the Route 28 corridor for more than nine years as the lead reporter of the Gainesville Times and Prince William Times from 2006 to 2015.

This article incorporates information provided by the media conference, one-on-one interviews and information provided via press release distributed by the office of Del. Roem. 

*,**,***New information about different road projects along Route 28 has been added as provided by an aide to Del. Roem. Bristow Beat incorrectly attributed the Matthis Avenue Corridor Project with Prince William County, rather than the City of Manassas. UPDATED Aug. 20 5:50 p.m. 

© 2019, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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