The Virginia Department of Transportation’s (VDOT) Transportation and Land Use Director for Prince William County Maria Sinner presented, to Prince William Board of County Supervisors July 23, current and upcoming road projects in and around the county.
Sinner updated the supervisors on road improvements to often-traveled roads such as I-66, U.S. 29, Va. 234 and U.S. 15.
Major improvements include the widening of traffic-congested roads to create additional lanes. Motorists can also look forward to on-road technology along I-66 to keep them informed when congestion is ahead.
Safety improvements in the county include the addition of turn lanes, shoulders and sidewalks or pedestrian/bike trails to improve safety along existing roads. Existing bridges will also be strengthened this year and into 2015.
The following is information on the VDOT road projects affecting western Prince William County and popular Northern Virginia commuter routes.
Readers may click on links for additional information provided by VDOT where provided.
This project includes the widening of U.S. 29 from I-66 to Virginia Oaks Road and the construction of a bridge to serve as an extension of Linton Hall Road up and over U.S. 29, Gallerher Road and the railroad.
To make the community aware of changes, VDOT plans to hold a “Pardon Our Dust” meeting July 31 at 6 p.m. in the vacant storefront between the Sports Authority and Golfsmith in the Virginia Gateway Shopping Center.
“That is just to explain to the people how the new traffic pattern will work over the bridge. Hopefully we’ll do the switch some time in the middle of August,” said Sinner, who added, “The project is moving along nicely.”
Target completion: Summer 2015
VDOT plans to install technology along I-66 to help communications for traffic management from the D.C. line to U.S. 29 into Gainesville with the addition of ATM technology. Additionally, ATM technology will be extended in to Haymarket as the section of the intrastate is widened.
“The project is being awarded and construction will begin pretty soon,” Sinner said, but will progress “going east to west.”
ATM technology VDOT intends to use includes gantry or overhead sign structures, lane and shoulder control displays, queue and incident detectors, cameras and responsive incident management.
Status: Design-build accomplished, contract awarded, design has begun. Expected completion is spring of 2015.
The widening of I-66 from Gainesville at the U.S. 29 intersection to the U.S. 15 intersection in Haymarket will include the addition of one high occupancy lane (HOV-2) and one general purpose lane in each direction for a total of four lanes in each direction. The westbound off-ramp at U.S. 15 will also be modified to ease that choke point.
The project will also include paved shoulders and two overpasses at Catharpin and Old Carolina Road with shared-use paths.
“The project was awarded, should start next spring/summer,” Sinner said.
The reconstruction of I-66/ U.S. 15 interchange includes improvement to U.S. 15 at Heathcote Boulevard, Va. 55, and a shared-use path at eastern U.S. 15.
According to VDOT, two traffic operation alternative conceptual designs have advanced to the next stage for approval. One is a semi-directional ramp and the other a single-point alternative.
Technical stakeholders, including VDOT, the Federal Highway Administration, Prince William County and the Town of Haymarket, have reviewed and screened potential interchange concepts.
This project is still in the planning stages. A public hearing was held on March 22 and request for proposals will be made in the Fall of 2012.
According to VDOT, this project would replace the “structurally-deficient southbound Route 29 (Lee Highway) bridge over North Fork Broad Run in Prince William County.”
Sinner said, “The project was awarded and we anticipate starting construction this summer.”
The new bridge will include a sidewalk for pedestrians.
VDOT will need to do a one-weekend closure, and Sinner said they are currently planning a date in October of 2013.
Va. 621 Balls Ford Road and Groveton Road- Manassas
VDOT has begun construction on a left turn lane from Balls Ford Road onto Groveton Road and a right turn lane off Groveton Road onto Balls Ford Road. VDOT will also erect a traffic signal at the intersection.
There has not been a public meeting on the construction, but according to Prince William County government, VDOT would be willing to hold one should the supervisors request one.
Status: Construction started July 2013, anticipated completion summer 2014.
Va. 234 Bypass/Relocation at Balls Ford Road Interchange- Manassas
The relocation of the interchange at Balls Ford Road and Va. 234 is meant to ease traffic congestion, especially during morning hours.
The $2 million in funding required for the relocation has been previously provided through the Va. 234 Bypass construction.
The commuter lot along at Cushings Road, near Va. 234 opened July 8. It is meant to service commuters taking I-66 East in the morning and returning via I-66 West in the evening. Bus service is provided along that route, but commuters can also carpool or “slug,” although opportunities for that may be limited at this time.
Sinner said that VDOT recently found 60 cars parked in the lot during business hours.
“It’s going to be a very successful lot,” Sinner said.
The Aden Road Bridge project will add an additional lane to the existing single lane of Aden Road over the Norfolk-Southern Railroad in Nokesville, enabling two-way traffic. Additionally, the existing truss will be strengthened on the historic bridge.
Sinner described this project as a “superstructure replacement over Cedar Run” presumably because it bolsters the existing structure.
The construction began in June. It switchs traffic to one lane with the occasional weekend closure. VDOT is working closely with county police to coordinate those closures.
The project was initially delayed because of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, but VDOT expects it will be completed by winter as per their schedule.
VDOT would like to hold a public meeting this fall.
This VDOT project will widen 29 miles of I-95 from Edsall Road in Arlington to the Prince William Parkway along Va. 234 in Dumfries.
VDOT is adding an additional HOV lane along that highly congested commuter route for a total of three HOV lanes along that first portion of the interstate. Additional HOV lanes will be extended from Va. 234 into Stafford County. Moreover, VDOT is also improving access from HOV and HOT lanes at key interchanges, including the connection to I-495.
The design is 100 percent complete at this point said Sinner.
Motorists should expect multiple lane closures for bridgework and HOV reversible lane closures planned for weekends and late evening/overnight hours. VDOT is also working on improving safety along the shoulder.
Sinner said the project is “moving along” and should be completed by the summer of 2015.
© 2013, Stacy Shaw. All rights reserved.