Residents Might Need to Resurface Roads
Fairfax County Office of
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
703-324-3187, TTY 711, FAX 703-324-2010
Aug. 8, 2006
Residents Might Need to Resurface Roads, Fill Potholes and Hold Lotteries for Road Improvements
Since the General Assembly has not approved additional funding for transportation, the Virginia Department of Transportation and Fairfax County have been forced to reduce the county’s Secondary Road Program by 40 percent. Several critical road construction and traffic projects have been delayed or eliminated. As a result of this reduction, members of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors at their last meeting on July 31 questioned, half-jokingly, whether the “adopt-a-road” program may well need to take on a new meaning. Instead of merely picking up litter on adopted roads, might residents need to step up and resurface the roads, fill the potholes, provide maintenance and construct future roadways? When it comes to traffic signals, might county residents need to hold a lottery, because the program only includes funding for one traffic signal for all 395 square miles of the county in fiscal year 2011?
“The General Assembly has not approved any significant ongoing transportation investments since 1986,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly. “To address our transportation problems, the General Assembly must step up and act on additional stable and reliable transportation funding for Fairfax County and Northern Virginia.”
During the past six years, funding in the Secondary Road Program has been reduced by nearly two-thirds. This year, VDOT and the county prepared the six-year Secondary Road Program for 2007-2012, based on available funding. The program includes $78 million in road investments for Fairfax County, or an average of $13 million per year. A $129 million road package was projected when the Board of Supervisors originally adopted the plan in December 2005. By further comparison, the 2002-2007 Secondary Road Program allocated $210 million.
“The dire reality, especially when juxtaposed against the major expansion of Fort Belvoir and continued growth in county population and jobs, is the need for a significant increase in state investment in transportation in Fairfax County,” said Lee District Supervisor Dana Kauffman. “This continuation of erosion in state funding for roads will have a lasting impact.”
The funding decrease will lead to continued commuter frustration as projects are delayed. Investments to portions of Telegraph Road have been removed from the Secondary Road Program and construction of the widening of Rolling Road has been delayed to July 2012.
With the pending arrival of 22,000 new jobs at Fort Belvoir, both improvements and many others should be completed no later than 2011.
Additionally, many other transportation initiatives will be cut. These include a $5.8 million reduction in general traffic services (primarily new traffic signals) over six years; $3 million reduction in pedestrian projects; $700,000 decrease in engineering and survey services; and a nearly $400,000 decrease in traffic-calming measures. The reduction in traffic-calming funding means that beginning in fiscal year 2009, even if the Board of Supervisors approves a traffic-calming measure requested by the community, there is no certainty that it will actually be implemented.