Update: This pilot project concluded on Nov. 23, 2020.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Fairfax County offered Tysons residents another option for community recreation by closing one northbound lane of Tysons Boulevard starting Friday, May 29, 2020. Pedestrians and bicyclists had access to a .5 mile stretch of road from Westbranch Drive to the pedestrian entrance of Lillian Court at Tysons II (right before International Drive around the Tysons Galleria area), enhancing social distancing opportunities while exercising, commuting and more.
The duration of the closure has not been determined, and will depend on the rate of reopening following the reductions of COVID-19 related restrictions.
The Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling (FABB) and Tysons Partnership requested Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) and Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) consider this solution to support active transportation in 2020. FCDOT and VDOT partnered to identify a suitable location and ultimately implement the project. The temporary closure is permitted through VDOT and funded by Fairfax County.
The closure of Tysons Boulevard extended from Westbranch Drive to just before International Drive and connected pedestrians and bicyclists to bike lanes on both Park Run Road and Westpark Drive. Residents also had access to community amenities such as nearby Capital Bikeshare stations and a park in the corner of Westbranch Drive and Tysons Boulevard.
FCDOT held a Design Public Hearing for the Route 28 Widening Project on Monday, Sept. 23, 2019, 6:30 - 9 p.m., in the cafeteria of Centreville Elementary School, 14330 Green Trails Blvd., Centreville. A formal presentation was held at 7 p.m., and presentation materials are posted below:
The Full Plan Set (51 MB) is available by contacting the project team by using the feedback button below or by calling 703-877-5600, TTY 711. The comment period for the Route 28 Widening Project closed Oct. 7, 2019.
In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and 23 CFR 771, a Categorical Exclusion (CE) was prepared in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration (FWHA) for the project. The CE was submitted to VDOT on July 15 and on FWHA found the Draft NEPA Documentation to be acceptable to support the original Categorical Exclusion determination on July 19, 2019.
Summaries of the technical documentation on historical resources, the preliminary noise analysis and correspondence are posted below:
For more information on the Categorical Exclusion and technical documents, please contact the project team by using the feedback button below or calling FCDOT at 703-877-5600. The deadline for comments regarding the Categorical Exclusion closed on Sept. 25, 2019.
Presentation and meeting information for previous community meetings on the Route 28 widening project are listed below:
VDOT Project Number:
0028-029-269, P101, R201, C501
VDOT UPC: 108720
FCDOT Project Numbers:
Fund 40013: 2G40-136-000
Fund 40017: 2G40-100-000
Fund 50000: AA1400143-17
Federal Project Numbers:
The current project design plans are approximately 30 percent complete. This preliminary design provides for the widening of Route 28 between Compton Road and Route 29 to a six lane divided highway, while not to precluding a future widening to 8-lanes. FCDOT completed a draft report of the traffic analyses to determine the optimal number of lanes that will be required to provide an acceptable traffic flow in the future. For additional information on the traffic analysis, see the Traffic Analysis and Widening Options
Please note: These plans are preliminary and are subject to change as the design progresses. Additional easements may be needed for utility relocation and potential noise walls. Potential noise wall locations are shown on the plans. Typical sections do not illustrate all conditions along the proposed roadway alignments.
The County’s Comprehensive Transportation Plan describes Route 28 as eight lanes with High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes, and a future interchange at New Braddock Road. The project design will not preclude future widening to eight lanes, future HOV or a future interchange at New Braddock Road.
The proposed Design-Build project schedule includes:
For more information, see the Alternative Delivery Methods and Schedule Comparison.
The project may also improve traffic operations between Compton and Ordway Roads and Route 28. The options initially under consideration included an additional left turn lane from eastbound Compton Road to northbound Route 28, and additional right-of-way of varying amounts depending on the option. The options include:
Preliminary traffic analyses indicated that only Options 1 and 4 provided significant improvements to traffic flow. Due to funding constraints, the Request for Proposal (RFP) includes Option 1 only.
The section of Route 28 between the Prince William County/Fairfax County line (at the bridge over Bull Run), and the existing interchange at Route 29 is a four-lane divided highway that currently carries approximately 60,000 vehicles per day (vpd). Between Route 29 and New Braddock Road, the southbound side of the roadway is currently three lanes wide. Along this 2.3 mile segment, there are five signalized intersections located at Compton Road, Old Mill Road/Green Trails Blvd., New Braddock Road, Machen Road and Upperridge Drive/Old Centreville Road. In addition, there are three un-signalized median crossovers (one U-turn south of Compton Road, Bradenton Drive and Darkwood Drive), and one right-in/right-out intersection on the northbound side of Route 28 (Tallavast Drive).
Traffic counts were collected in 2016 and analyzed to determine the operational characteristics of the Route 28 corridor under existing conditions. During the AM peak period, one signalized intersection operates at Level of Service (LOS) F (New Braddock Road), and two operate at LOS D (Compton Road and Upperridge/Old Centreville). Based upon field observations, the queues generated by these poorly operating intersections result in spill back to upstream intersections throughout the length of the corridor. In the AM, these queues spill back well into Prince William County. During the PM peak period, three intersections operate at LOS F (New Braddock Road, Machen Road and Upperridge/Old Centreville) and one other signalized intersection operates at LOS E (Compton Road.) Queue spill back during the PM peak severely degrades operations at upstream intersections, however, the spill back rarely impacts or affects operations at the Route 28/Route 29 interchange or the interchange on Route 28 at I-66.
A study completed by VDOT in 2015 of the safety and operational characteristics of Route 28 between Liberia Avenue (in the City of Manassas) and just south of I-66 provides confirmation of the operational deficiencies found along Route 28. The VDOT report indicated average AM peak period travel times between Liberia Avenue and I-66 of 46 minutes, and average PM peak period travel time of 18 minutes to cover this approximately six (6) mile distance.
Please note: Some sections below reference Levels of Service or “LOS.” Level of Service is a measure of the relative quality of traffic congestion, based on performance measures such as traffic speed and density. LOS “A” is free flow of traffic; LOS “F” is breakdown flow or gridlock.
FCDOT began preliminary design on the project in 2016. The initial project scope proposed widening Route 28 from a four lane divided roadway to a 6-lane divided roadway with a shared use path on both sides of the roadway. The initial traffic analysis for a 6-lane section indicated that traffic volumes in the year 2040 would result in LOS F at one intersections (Compton Road) during the AM peak period. Three of the five intersections were expected to operate at LOS E during the PM peak period. As under existing conditions, queue spill back from these poorly operating intersections is anticipated to degrade operations of the upstream intersections. The anticipated growth in traffic volumes reduced or eliminated any benefits of the proposed widening. Congestion in both directions was due to inadequate capacity; but congestion in the southbound direction (at the PM peak) was also caused by queue spill back from heavy volumes on Route 28 to the south of the FCDOT widening, in Prince William County.
As a result of this initial analysis, FCDOT performed a series of traffic analyses on several possible lane configurations for Route 28 in order to optimize the proposed improvements and traffic operations along the corridor. These concepts included; 1) widening Route 28 to seven (7) lanes (4-northbound, 3-southbound); 2) widening Route 28 to eight (8) lanes (4-lanes northbound and southbound); and 3) a hybrid of the original scope and concept 1 and 2 (6-7-8 lanes). Based upon the results of the traffic analysis, FCDOT selected the Hybrid 6-7-8 lane Option as the preferred design as it met the anticipated traffic demand and achieved the desired traffic operational results while minimizing costs and impact to the community and environment.
In early 2018, FCDOT submitted a request to NVTA for additional funds to complete project funding for the Hybrid 6-7-8 lane option. Due to the Virginia General Assembly’s reallocation of funds from NVTA to WMATA, , when NVTA’s FY 2018-2023 Six Year Program was approved on June 14, 2018, only $16 million was awarded to the project. As a result of this reduced funding, the County was forced to reassess what improvements could be completed with available funds. Thus, instead of building the preferred Hybrid 6-7-8 lane option, the project is now limited to building only 6-lanes at this time . It should also be noted that an additional $7,794,999 in local funds has been allocated by the County in order to construct 6-lanes.
The traffic analysis was updated in October 2018 to evaluate traffic operations of the Route 28 6-Lane design alternative in the anticipated opening year, 2023, and the future design year 2040. The study was to determine if the additional lanes in each direction on Route 28, as well as other intersection improvements, were sufficient to provide acceptable operations in the Opening Year 2023; the resultant operations in the future design year 2040, and determine when additional improvements above and beyond the 6-lane design would be required. Each intersection analyzed in this study was improved to nearly the maximum extent practical using conventional intersection layouts.
A VJUST (VDOT Junction Screening Tool) analysis was also performed to evaluate alternative intersection designs. This analysis found that based on operating characteristics, construction constraints and right-of-way constraints, alternative intersection designs, while technically feasible, provided neglible benefits and were thus not cost effective.
The results show that the 6-lane design will provide for reasonable traffic operations in the Opening Year 2023: All the intersections on the Route 28 mainline corridor within the study area are expected to operate better than or approximately equal to existing conditions in both the AM and PM peak periods. Only one intersection(New Braddock during the AM peak) is expected to operate at LOS E in 2023, with all remaining intersections operating at LOS D or better. The results also identify average and maximum queuing, and provide input regarding the recommended turn bay lengths for the design.
In the 2040 6-Lane Build Alternative, one intersection (New Braddock) is expected to fail in the AM peak (with an LOS of F); no intersections are expected to fail in the PM peak. In the PM peak in 2040, three intersections are expected to operate at LOS E conditions, with a fourth at borderline LOS D/E conditions. The results indicate that the 6-Lane Build alternative shows an improvement to LOS, delay, and travel times as compared to the No-Build condition. Through the analysis, it has been determined that, based upon estimated travel time results, the 6-Lane alternative will potentially fail by the year 2040, and Route 28 would operate with similar travel times as existing conditions. It is estimated that additional widening, either to the 6-7-8 lane Hybrid option or to 8-lanes will be required sometime between 2035 and 2040.
Due to the reduced project funding, FCDOT is now proceeding with a phased approach to provide the roadway as a 6-lane section, with a design that will not preclude future widening to an 8-lane section as called for in the County’s Comprehensive Transportation Plan. The traffic analyses indicate that the 6- lane section will provide a sufficient and acceptable operations in the opening year of 2023. However by 2040, the 6-lane section will operate with similar travel times as existing conditions. VDOT Northern Virginia District staff have indicated they support the County’s plan to construct the 6-lane option as an interim (phased) widening in the corridor. The County intends to continue to pursue funding in the future to widen Route 28 to an eventual 8-lane facility and to construct needed improvements prior to failure of the 6-lane alternative.
This table compares average intersection delays and Levels of Service (LOS) at each signalized intersection in the corridor based on :
The table also shows corridor travel times based on the traffic analysis.
Following the results of the traffic analysis, FCDOT developed concept level plans (approximately 15% complete) for an 8-lane widening of Route 28 between Compton Road and Route 29. The 8-lane concept level plan was utilized as a “base line” to evaluate various factors, including but not limited to: total project cost, right-of-way, design, construction, schedule, risk, environmental impacts and mitigation, utility relocation, maintenance of traffic, and constructability. This concept design was further developed to a Preliminary 30% plan for a 6-lane widening, based on the ultimate 8-lane design. The 6-lane design allows future widening to be constructed in the median. No additional right-of-way should be required for future widening to an 8-lane section.
These plans are preliminary and are subject to change as traffic analyses are refined and design progresses. Additional easements may be needed for utility relocation and potential noise walls. The plans indicate the locations of potential noise walls, based on the noise analysis.
The 8-lane section, as presented, represents the “worst” case scenario for the proposed improvements to Route 28, and as such, is representative of the anticipated maximum impacts that may result from the proposed roadway widening.
The preliminary 6-lane plan widens the northbound roadway by adding one lane to the outside. South of New Braddock Road, the centerline of the southbound roadway is shifted approximately 5 feet toward the median. Widening to add one additional southbound lane is constructed on both the outside and inside of the southbound roadway.
On the northern end of the corridor, north of New Braddock Road, both the northbound and southbound roadways are proposed to be closed sections, with curb and gutter and closed drainage systems. South of New Braddock Road, a shoulder section is proposed on the outside of both the northbound and southbound lanes. However, curb and gutter is proposed along all left and right turn lanes. The proposed outside shoulder section is a safety feature providing safe pull off areas for vehicle breakdowns, accidents, and police enforcement areas.
Future widening to an 8-lane section would add one lane to the inside (or median side) of each roadway. A raised median, with median curb, is proposed along the entire length of the corridor as part of the future widening. Due to the existing differences in elevation between the northbound and southbound lanes, retaining walls will be required in the median at several locations.
Because of the increase in impervious area, storm water management facilities will be required to control storm runoff water quality and quantity. The preliminary storm water management design, as shown, is based upon the ultimate eight-lane configuration of Route 28 and upon preliminary calculations of storm water management requirements in accordance with Fairfax County storm water management criteria. Potential storm water management facilities necessary to meet these requirements are shown on the concept plan, and are located on vacant parcels adjacent to the project.
FCDOT and VDOT will be closely monitoring the traffic conditions and will reassess the closure if traffic patterns change or once travel restrictions begin to be lifted in Fairfax County.
For information on Tysons Boulevard and to stay informed, please connect with FCDOT:
12000 Government Center Pkwy
Fairfax, VA 22035