Board Updated on Critical County Transportation Issues


March 9, 2009
OPA 056/09

News Highlights  

  • Sound walls to be added along most of I-495 HOT Lanes project.
  • Landscaping plans to be developed in coordination with adjacent communities to help mitigate concerns with the tree canopy loss and to take advantage of available green space.

More Information 

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, at its meeting today, received an update on critical transportation projects within the county. The update, which announced the addition of enhanced sound walls along most of the I-495 High Occupancy Toll (HOT) Lanes project, was a joint board matter from Chairman Sharon Bulova and Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay.

“I appreciate the willingness of the commonwealth to work with Fairfax County to improve transit and HOV access in this corridor while trying to protect affected communities as much as possible,” said Bulova.

This transportation information also was presented on March 6 to the Board of Supervisors Transportation Committee, chaired by McKay, by the Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) andthe Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).

  • Capital Beltway (I-495) High Occupancy Toll (HOT) Lanes Project — VDOT will add sound walls for almost the entire length of the project and increase the height at several locations along the Beltway to address community concerns. The process to obtain the sound walls was started by Congressman Gerald E. Connolly, former Board of Supervisors chairman. VDOT also will hire a landscape architect to develop landscaping plans in coordination with adjacent communities, to help mitigate concerns with the tree canopy loss and to take advantage of available green space as the project develops.  In addition, the pedestrian and bicycle facilities negotiated by FCDOT and VDOT for the bridges being constructed by the I-495 HOT Lanes Project will remove some of the worst barriers to pedestrian and bicycle movement in Fairfax County, as most of the existing bridges have no pedestrian facilities.    

    The board commended VDOT staff for addressing the concerns of the residents who live adjacent to this project and the concerns of the board. It also thanked the Commonwealth Transportation Board, the Fairfax County delegation to the General Assembly with districts along the roadway and VDOT staff for their efforts on behalf of Fairfax County residents.

  • I-95/395 High Occupancy Vehicle(HOV)/Bus/HOT Lanes ProjectThe 36-mile-long northern section has 28 miles of existing HOV system plus an eight-mile extension from Quantico to Stafford County. The HOV lanes will be expanded from two to three lanes and continue to be reversible. The 28-mile-long southern section adds a second lane to the eight-mile extension included in the northern section and extends the system south to Massaponax and Spotsylvania County. Construction is expected to start by the end of this year or early 2010. 

    Transit access and service on this portion of I-95/395 are critical to relieving congestion and addressing the needs of numerous military installations along the project corridor. There is a one-time commitment of $195 million for transit services from the Public-Private Transportation Act, which allows VDOT to partner with the private sector to build roads more efficiently. 

  • Residential Parking The briefing focused on complaints concerning commercial and large vehicles parking in residential neighborhoods. The issues involve neighborhood quality of life, safety, aesthetics, and the potential impact of more restrictions on small business owners, and businesses in general. Recent state legislation (HB 1694) as well as an opinion from the state attorney general permit the Board of Supervisors to broaden restrictions on some vehicles. County staff recommended that the board consider amending the County Code to address typical complaints using this authority. Board members were asked to provide FCDOT with examples of typical parking complaints in their districts that they would like to have reviewed and addressed with revised parking regulations. 

  • Dulles Rail Project Update The project team briefed the board  on the finance plan for the project including updates on the Tax District revenue collections and planned bond issuances. Design work is approximately 60 percent complete, and utility work is moving toward completion in the first quarter of 2010. Rail construction will begin during the third quarter of 2009 and be completed in the second quarter of 2013. Passenger service is projected to begin in November 2013.  

    The full federal funding agreement for phase one of the project is scheduled to be signed March 10. Phase one extends Metro from the Orange Line between East and West Falls Church stations to Wiehle Avenue and includes four stations in Tysons Corner.

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