Public Works and Environmental Services

CONTACT INFORMATION: Our administrative offices are open to the public. Appointments are preferred. Please call or email 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday
703-324-5800 TTY 711
12000 Government Center Parkway
Suite 449 Fairfax, VA 22035
Carey Needham
Director, Capital Facilities

Capital Facilities - Utilities Design and Construction Division

picture - Indian Run at Columbia Road Stream
Indian Run at Columbia Road Stream

Utilities Design and Construction Division (UDCD) is responsible for managing the bid advertisement, contract award processes, and overseeing all aspects of construction contract management for transportation projects and stormwater projects including inspection, testing, code compliance, warranty, and project closeout. Designs for these projects are administered by the Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) and the Stormwater Planning Division with interim UDCD reviews during plan development. Construction of these projects is vital to provide new or upgraded infrastructure to serve residents across the county. Project types typically include stream restoration, stormwater pond retrofits/upgrades, dam rehabilitation/upgrades, bio-retention ponds, storm sewer pipe replacement/upgrades, roadway realignments and/or improvements, pedestrian improvements (trails, sidewalks, crosswalks), commercial revitalization via streetscape improvements, developer defaults, streetlights, traffic calming, and bus shelters. Some transportation projects are Virginia Department of Transportation Local Administered Projects which are locally administrated by UDCD.

The Stormwater Construction Branch (SWCB) of the Utilities Design and Construction Division implements construction of Capital Improvement Program (CIP) projects for the Stormwater Management Division. SWCB provides constructability reviews and input during the design process. SWCB serves as a construction engineer for all construction phases, including managing the procurement process, contract award and contract administration. Contract administration includes finalizing the contract documents, managing the contractor, overseeing the change management process such as Requests For Information (RFI), Field Orders (FOs), Potential Change Orders (PCOs), and Change Orders (COs), construction issues, project closeout, post construction monitoring, and handing off the facilities to the user agencies.

The projects under construction vary in duration from several months to over a year, depending on the complexity of the work. Examples of short-term projects include outfall repairs, retrofitting existing stormwater facilities, removing excessive sediment, fixing piping issues, and adding accessibility features for maintenance operations. Examples of long-term projects include stream restoration projects using Natural Channel Design, major pond retrofit projects, and repairs to existing dams. Since Fairfax County’s assets and facilities often overlap, these larger projects often involve coordination with other Fairfax County stakeholders such as Maintenance and Stormwater Management Division, Wastewater Collection Division, Fairfax County Park Authority, and Fairfax County Public Schools.

Example Projects

Pohick Creek Tibutary at Greentree Village Park

The Pohick Creek tributary at Greentree Village Park was in desperate need of a 2,500 linear foot stream restoration using Natural Channel Design, enhancing, and stabilizing the degraded stream channel, enhancing and providing water quality benefits and aesthetics and preventing further erosion. The project includes in-stream structures, realignment of a portion of the channel, engineered regenerative mix to promote groundwater recharge, a fiberglass pedestrian bridge, and the re-establishment of the riparian buffer with native species.

Dead Run Stream Restoration at McLean Central Park

The Dead Run Stream Restoration at McLean Central Park restored approximately 3,000 linear feet of stream. The project included boulder riffles, step pools, log vanes, root wad structures, buried rock sills, reinforced stream bed material, pedestrian bridges, removal of invasive plants and the re-establishment of the riparian buffer with native species.

Willow Spring project

The existing stormwater facility at Willow Springs was retrofit with a sand filter to provide additional water quality benefits.

The Transportation Construction Branch’s (TCB) staff of highly qualified engineers provide overall construction management of diverse transportation construction projects critical to Fairfax County. TCB focuses on the quality, timely, efficient, and economical delivery of these transportation projects and ensures these projects meet the needs of our county residents.

Example Projects

Scotts Run Trail Project

The Scotts Run Trail project consists of the design and construction of a half-mile long, 8-foot-wide asphalt trail connecting Magarity Road to Chain Bridge Road and provides the residential communities safe access to the McLean Metro Station.

Great Falls Street Side Walk project

The Great Falls Street Sidewalk Improvements project provides pedestrian access improvements along the east side of Great Falls Street between North West Street and Osborn Street.

udcd collageThe Utilities Design and Construction Division Inspection Branch comprises the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)- and Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT)-certified inspectors and construction managers. The Inspection Branch plays a vital role in performing quality control inspections on county Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) that are mostly linear in scope. Typical projects include stormwater, stream stabilization, and transportation improvement projects. The inspections are enforcement and compliance of complex and specialized construction codes and contract document requirements on our construction projects.

Day-to-day work includes performance of inspections on all phases of construction that include street improvements, trails, sidewalks, secondary road improvements with final surfacing, parking lots, retaining walls, trails, developer defaults, bridges, traffic signal systems, sanitary, storm, stormwater and stream improvements, catch basins, dams and embankments, culverts, laying of water lines, gabions, paved ditches, trench safety, general site inspections with emphasis on erosion and siltation controls, work zone safety, guard rails, and related improvements to CAP construction projects.

Staff maintains documentation of all inspections in daily reports and photographs, measures, records, and calculates all quantities of pay items, and keeps notes on contractors’ progress to process monthly payment requests.

Staff also provides constructability reviews during the various design phases and generates valuable comments to improve the quality of the construction plans, assists construction managers in projects final closeout, and works hand-in-hand with construction managers, contractors, stakeholders, citizens, and state agencies in successful completion of projects.

lsb collageLand Survey Branch (LSB) provides professional land surveying services for county agencies for various needs and interests. Staff are licensed Land Surveyors who provide a depth of experience and knowledge. The code of Virginia states a “Land surveyor" means a person who, by reason of his knowledge of the several sciences and of the principles of land surveying, and of the planning and design of land developments acquired by practical experience and formal education, is qualified to engage in the practice of land surveying, and whose competence has been attested by the Board through licensure as a land surveyor.”

LSB provides internal clients with surveys for real estate transactions, design, and construction projects, particularly those in the Capital Improvements Program (CIP), Developer Default Program, and supporting enforcement and litigation, Geographic Information System (GIS), the Secondary Control Network of monuments across the county, and GPS on Benchmarks in preparation for the 2022 Datum changes.

LSB’s work comes from internal county clients: FCDOT, STW, MSMD, SWM, WWCD, FMD, CAP, LDS, FCPD, OCA, and Zoning. Along with the pre-design or existing condition, platting, construction, and as-built surveys supporting the CIP, surveys are conducted to answer questions such as, “Whose tree is it?” or “On which property does blank lie?” blank may be a fence, tree, bridge abutment, trail, dilapidated stairs, sewer, abandoned refrigerator, etc. LSB surveys for Department of Tax Administration (DTA) for rare escheat sales, locates gas wells and other features at the I-66 Transfer Station and I-95 Complex supporting environmental permitting, and writes metes and bounds descriptions, sometimes called “legal descriptions” for parcels affected by acquisitions in our CIP projects.

Note: Our services are exclusively provided for Fairfax County Agencies.

Nearly all that LSB does is in support of the county’s economic growth and environmental concerns. LSB supports LDS in Buildable Lot Determinations with research and reporting on the subdivision status of the subject lot facilitating future development.

A lesser-known role of the county surveyor is surveying the plots on the indigent cemetery to lay out the grave plots, so a burial is in a known and ordered location. Probably the least known function is conducting the “LiDAR Baseline Certifications”. Law enforcement officers must calibrate their equipment regularly to capture accurate readings of the speed a car travels. We survey and publish professional certifications of these baselines for the Fairfax County Police Department at each station twice yearly. Our certification on the distance of the calibration baselines is used as supporting information in court when violations are docketed.

LSB advises on regulatory, and process matters in Land Development Services (LDS), land use cases in the Office of the County Attorney (OCA), and zoning questions. The Land Survey Branch has a strong partnership with Mapping/GIS. Our ground survey work supported the acquisition of the aerial imagery for years and continues to support the users’ experience by contributing survey quality data to the GIS dataset.

Streetlight Branch

County wide streetlights project FY 2020

DPWES provides street lighting services to the community for the purpose of enhancing public safety, deterring crime, and ensuring streetlight levels are updated to meet current lighting standards.

The Streetlights Branch administers many Fairfax County streetlight programs and provides specialized technical support to many agencies across the County. Most roadway streetlights (60,000 in the Fairfax County CAP inventory) are installed, owned, operated, and maintained by either Dominion Energy (DE) or NOVEC. Staff is currently implementing a major Conversion Program to convert all antiquated source streetlights in the DE inventory to LED technology.

The LED Conversion Program is projected to run 5 years with $9 million funded from the Fairfax County Operational Energy Strategy Initiative.

The Developer Streetlight Program supports LDS on all developer streetlight plans. Staff provides technical review of plans to meet Public Facilities Manual (PFM) and Zoning requirements and administers all processes with DE and NOVEC to include cost estimate requests, installation and construction management, bill payment and inventory posting to the GIS streetlight layer.

The Citizen Streetlight Program manages streetlight requests from citizens and the Board of Supervisors district offices. The Streetlight Branch supports streetlight plan review of FCDOT/VDOT Transportation Projects and provides the administration streetlight processes like the Developer Streetlight Program. In addition, the Streetlight Branch manages many private maintenance agreements on private streetlights along public roadways and has many county-owned streetlights along multiuse trails that staff manages. The Streetlight Branch, in coordination with GIS, manages and oversees the Streetlight Outage Reporting Map to ensure streetlights are operational.

Developer Default Branch

As a request from Land Development Services (LDS), UDCD, Developer Default Branch staff completes private development projects when a developer defaults on a bonded project. After default, the developer’s bond money is transferred to UDCD to complete the project. Staff determines the scope of incomplete items, provides Project and Construction Management, and takes the project to completion. The Developer Default Branch staff gets the completed project into the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Secondary Street Maintenance Program. The VDOT Street Acceptance Process often is the most challenging and time-consuming effort.

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