Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Reallocates Money to Complete Road Projects


April 9, 2013

News Highlights

  • Because the county completed two other transportation projects under budget, $11.2 milllion dollars in existing federal and county dollars will be applied to design or build 12 other pedestrian and road improvements.
  • Projects include improvements to Route 50, I-395, Route 236 and Telegraph Road.
  • Under state law, the county may use Commercial and Industrial taxes to pay for transportation projects.

At its April 9 meeting, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors reallocated $11.2 million in existing funds to complete more than 12 planned pedestrian and road improvement projects.

The board was able to shift money to these new or ongoing projects because the county finished two other major transportation projects under budget.

“I am pleased to see significant transportation projects, such as the Burke VRE parking garage project and the Route 29/Gallows Road project come in on time and under budget,” said Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova. “Careful fiscal management by the Fairfax County Department of Transportation has afforded the county the opportunity to reallocate funds into additional key projects around the county and make much needed improvements to our transportation network.  The new projects will enhance safety, reduce bottlenecks and improve bike and pedestrian opportunities.”

The Burke Centre Virginia Railway Express parking garage was completed under budget, leaving $3.9 million in federal Congestion Mitigation Air Quality (CMAQ) funds available. Additionally, the project to widen Route 29 and Gallows Road to three lanes was finished with $7.2 million in federal Regional Surface Transportation Program (RSTP) dollars remaining.

The board also approved using $1.65 million in Commercial and Industrial (C&I) taxes for three projects.

The available congestion mitigation monies will fund:

  • Route 50 Pedestrian Improvements ($3,727,586): There are currently 11 projects identified along Route 50 between Jaguar Trail and Seven Corners at Olin Drive—three intersection improvements and eight sidewalk segment improvements. The total project estimate is $8.8 million, and only $1.9 million is currently funded. CMAQ monies, combined with available RSTP funds, will fully pay for these improvements.
  • Soapstone Trail ($211,662): This additional money will fully funded the estimated cost to finish this sidewalk along the eastside of Soapstone Drive between South Lakes Drive and Glade Drive.

The available regional surface transportation dollars will go towards:

  • Route 50 Pedestrian Improvements ($3,066,919): This money combined with the $3.7 million in congestion mitigation dollars will fully fund the 11 projects.
  • Walney Road Replacement ($1,068,081): This money will allow the project to move into design-build implementation. This project will replace and widen the 70-foot Walney Road Bridge. This bridge, which crosses Flatlick Branch, will be widened to include five-foot bike lanes on both the north and southbound lanes, as well as a sidewalk on the west side and a shared-use path on the east side.
  • Hunter Mill Bridge Replacement ($320,000): This money will cover the cost for the Virginia Department of Transportation’s preliminary engineering of the preferred bridge concept. The current bridge’s steel beams are corroded beyond repair. This bridge, which sits between Hunter Station Road and Lawyers Road, will eventually be rebuilt.
  • Lee Road Culvert ($1,582,000): These funds will fully fund the project to remove a bottleneck on Lee Road. By lengthening the culvert, the existing two-lane section will be widened to four lanes from 500 feet south of the culvert to Penrose Place.
  • I-395 southbound off-ramp to Route 236 westbound ($500,000): To deal with anticipated additional traffic due to the Mark Center, this project will improve the signage on this off-ramp. It will alert drivers, in advance, that Quantrell Avenue, with direct access from the ramp, can be used to access Beauregard Street, Lincolnia Road and the Plaza at Landmark shopping center. This project is one of the Mark Center spot improvements.
  • Beauregard Street ($50,000): Due to expected traffic impacts from the Mark Center, the westbound left turn lane on Route 236 at Beauregard Street could be channelized. This would prevent cars leaving the Landmark shopping center from accessing the left turn lane, crossing three through lanes of traffic in a short distance. Instead, it would shift those vehicles to another plaza exit, such as Beauregard Street. This improvement is part of the Mark Center spot improvements.
  • Cherokee Avenue/Route 236 ($700,000): This project would build an exclusive northbound right turn lane from Cherokee Avenue onto Route 236. This could offer Mark Center commuters an alternative route to and from the south.  This project is one of the Mark Center spot improvements.

 Commercial and Industrial tax revenues will be used for:

  • Stringfellow Road Park and Ride ($600,000): This project adds about 300 new spaces to the existing facility, as well as expands the kiss-and-ride area. Originally estimated to cost $5.5 million, the expansion is paid for with bonds approved in 2007 referendum. However, an extra $600,000 is needed for additional construction costs due to poor soil conditions under the parking lot and access road sites, as well as for the increased cost of the proposed transit building.
  • Telegraph Road ($900,000): This money, which will be used to supplement construction costs, will help to finish this project ahead of schedule. This project will add turn lanes, a raised median, and sidewalk. It will improve conditions for drivers using Telegraph Road to access I-495 via South Van Dorn Street and at the bottleneck just south of the intersection before it splits to Telegraph Road and South Kings Highway.
  • Route 29/Gallows Road Lighting ($150,000): This project will install replacement light poles that are needed as a result of widening Route 29/Gallows Road. These light poles were not included in the original budget for the widening project.

Under state law, Northern Virginia jurisdictions may use commercial real estate taxes as a way to raise money for transportation projects. In 2008, the Board of Supervisors authorized the use of C&I funds for transportation improvements, and they previously approved specific projects for funding. C&I taxes generate about $50 million per year in revenues.

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