State Funds GMU Bypass; Supervisor Cook to Lead Community Input Process

Braddock District will soon receive a significant transportation improvement.  In his just-released six year transportation plan, Governor Bob McDonnell agreed to provide $15 million in funding for George Mason University’s proposed “Western Bypass.” The exact design of the road has yet to be determined, but in general it will begin at Braddock Road and Prestwick Drive (west of the intersection of Braddock and Route 123), travel north through or around the current athletic fields on Mason’s undeveloped “western campus,” turn east, cross Route 123 north of the intersection with Braddock in the vicinity of Mason Pond Drive (near the Mason Inn) and connect with Patriot Circle inside of the campus. 

The intent of the bypass is to keep eastbound traffic headed toward campus from entering the intersection of Braddock and Route 123. As a result of the bypass, a 10 to 30 percent reduction in congestion is expected at Braddock and Route 123.

Supervisor Cook is a strong supporter of the bypass and personally lobbied Transportation Secretary Sean Connaughton to fund the project. Supervisor Cook is equally committed to insuring that the community is at the table as the project is designed and constructed.  During a March community information meeting hosted by Supervisor Cook, a consensus emerged that a small task force of community members should be closely involved in the project design.  At the suggestion of Delegate David Bulova, Supervisor Cook agreed to pull the group together and manage the community input process. 

We will keep you up to date on the project in future editions of the Beacon.

Come Out Ready to Ride on May 28 for Braddock Bike Day

Just in time for the Summer riding season, Supervisor Cook will be hosting a Bike Day in Braddock District. This event is for the whole family and will be held in the parking lot at Lake Braddock Secondary School which is located at 9200 Burke Lake Road in Burke on May 28 between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

What can you expect at Bike Day? We are pleased to have members of the Fairfax County Police Department on hand to discuss safety. They will set up cones, allowing riders to test their skill navigating through a wide range of obstacles. We also will have representatives from the Fairfax County Department of Transportation’s Bike Division. They will discuss the trail and bike path system in the County and how it can be accessed by residents. They also will have copies of the local bike route maps available. Another participating group is Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling (FABB), a local group that has been extremely successful in promoting bicycling in Northern Virginia. They are affiliated with Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) and do so much to promote safety and accessibility for bikers of all ages in the Metropolitan area. They will have informational materials available as well as tips and trick for navigating the surrounding area. Lastly, we will have a bike mechanic or two from a local bike shop to do inspections and routine tune-ups.

We hope you can come out and join us for this great event as we kick off the Summer on this Memorial Day weekend. Unfortunately, there is no rain date, so in the case of inclimate weather, Bike Day will have to be cancelled. If you have any questions or want to let us know that you will be attending, call Lindsey Smith in the Braddock Office at 703-425-9300 or email him at

VDOT to Repair Guinea Road Bridge: Community Meeting Planned

This summer, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will undertake an emergency replacement of the existing Guinea Road bridge which spans the Long Branch stream valley. Deterioration of the two 60 inch culverts that provide support for the existing roadway has recently accelerated.

The proposed replacement bridge will have a span of 54 feet across Long Branch and will be completely built within the existing right of way. Currently, Long Branch overtops Guinea Road in two year storm events. The new bridge will be close to three feet higher and widened by 15 feet, resulting in an expectation that it will prevent flooding during at least the 10 year storm, and would only overtop the road in a 25 year storm. The final configuration will include two twelve foot travel lanes, an eight foot shoulder and a 5 foot sidewalk in each direction.

VDOT expects to maintain two-way traffic on the bridge at all times during the repair at the current speed of 30 mph. VDOT hopes to solicit bids in the next four weeks and begin work in early July. The entire project is expected to take approximately four months and is estimated to cost $2.3 million.

Supervisor Cook and VDOT will host a Community Information Meeting on this project in Braddock Hall, 9002 Burke Lake Road, to explain the scope of the project on Tuesday May 31, 2011.

Driving through Braddock

HOT Lanes Ramp Closure for Braddock Road Imminent
Fluor-Lane, contractor for the HOT Lanes project, has now confirmed that they are preparing to close the Braddock Road westbound ramp to I-495 south and activate a new left turn traffic signal on or about May 16, 2011. More information can be found by here:

Additionally, Friday night, May 13 at 9:00 p.m. until 11:00 a.m. Saturday, May 14, crews will close the CD ramp of I-495 north to Braddock Road west. Motorists will be directed to Exit52A, Little River Turnpike west, follow signage to I-495 south back to Braddock Road west. The exit from Braddock Road east to I-495 north will also be closed and motorists will be directed to continue heading east to Backlick Road, turn left onto Backlick Road and follow signage to Little River Turnpike west, to I-495 north.

Leesville Boulevard Sound Wall Update
For over a year, the HOT Lanes project team has been working on the redesign of the two existing sound walls south of Heming Avenue on either side of the Beltway. The original plan was to move a fairly sizeable portion of the existing sound walls back, in order to make room for the widened Beltway. However, upon further study, it appears that the existing wall foundations impact the clearance needed for the beltway roadbed and that at least a portion of both walls will need to be completely replaced.
New designs are being engineered, and it will be at least a few months before those plans can be internally analyzed and approved, delaying construction. Representatives from the project have agreed to update plans, provide an updated fact sheet and distribute it to the community. It is still a project goal to replace the walls as soon as possible and minimize the impact on the affected neighbors. We will present new information as it is made available.

Seeking Public Comment
For Burke Centre residents: How can we improve walking and bicycling to school in the Burke Centre Community? Send your comments by May 21st to

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