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County officials discuss upcoming transportation projects

Board of Supervisors Chairman Scott York (R-At Large) held a jurisdictional public input session June 10 to outline the Loudoun County and Northern Virginia Transportation Authority's fiscal 2014 road project list and how the region will spend the transportation dollars available from the adoption of House Bill 2313.

The transportation bill will generate $816 million annually for the completion of backlogged and unfunded transportation projects. The bill will generate more than $300 million yearly to improve mobility and safety in the area.

Northern Virginia Transportation Authority has recommended funding from 70 percent of its funds for five projects in Loudoun – three in roadway and two in transit.

In Loudoun County, proposed roadway projects to be addressed in fiscal 2014 include the expansion of Belmont Ridge Road between Portsmouth Boulevard and Hay Road; Route 28 Hot Spot Improvements at Sterling Boulevard and the Dulles Toll Road – widening from six lanes to eight; and the design of the Edwards Ferry Road at the Route 15 Leesburg Bypass Grade Separation.

Transit projects in Loudoun include the acquisition of land for the Leesburg Park and Ride and the addition of two new transit buses.

Tony Howard, president of the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce, asked York to urge the NVTA to make the Bi-County Parkway a priority as soon as possible.

“The Bi-County Parkway is clearly a project of significant regional importance and the type of project the General Assembly had in mind when it adopted 2313,” Howard said. “By connecting major employment populations in Loudoun and Prince William Counties, the Bi-County Parkway will help reduce traffic congestion in our region, a region that is home to Virginia's fastest growing and economically vibrant communities.”

Dwight Dopilka, a resident of Leesburg, also suggested another project that would greatly reduce traffic coming into Leesburg on Route 7.

“One of the projects I think is more important than the Sycolin flyover is the Belmont Ridge and Route 7 Interchange,” Dopilka said. “Having traveled Route 7 frequently to get to work, that is a major bottleneck. I see it is on the schedule, but if there is any way to expedite that and make it a priority that would be beneficial.”

Construction at the interchange at Belmont Ridge Road and Route 7 is scheduled to begin in fall 2014 with funding coming from both the state and county.

In response to Dopilka, York pointed out he would like to see that interchange sped up as well, but there are hang ups in the process.

“I would like to see it sped up very dramatically, in fact the funding has been there for several years now. But with that project, the paperwork is just enormous and it just befuddles me how come it takes us too long to get paperwork done,” York said. “Somewhere, Richmond needs to really examine this because not only does it cost more the longer it takes, but you are also costing the time of the folks who are having to use that intersection right now sitting in all that traffic just for paperwork.”

NVTA will hold a public meeting on projects June 20 at Fairfax City Hall beginning with an open house at 5:30 p.m.

For more information on projects and funding, visit novaauthority.org.


Close down all access ramps to the Dulles Greenway until the owners agree to implement distance based pricing. 
Distance pricing would move significant traffic off Route 7 and off Waxpool Rd.

...because every day commuters in Loudoun County wake up and say to themselves—man, I sure wish I could get down to Potomac Mills faster…

I’d like to see some comparisons between the “well-documented need” for north-south travel and the “massively frustrating because everyone lives it every day” east-west travel.

Sure, it might be nice to have a north-south highway. And the developers who own property along that corridor will be *thrilled* to create the additional east-west traffic.

You have to wonder what they were thinking when they build the expensive overpasses for Ashburn RD and Loudoun Cnty Pkwy and then put a light at Lexington…..Or why do they seem to pave roads that don’t need paving? A lot of wasted money on transportation projects in Loudoun.

agree with Ralph….100%....you can get rid of two lights quick and easy (compared to overpasses and interchanges).

And while schools are out, how about turning off the lights in front??? And putting in an overpass at Belmont and route 7 is good but will not help much since you still have battlefield pkwy red light and ashburn village red light(depending on which way you’re heading).

If you fix the Belmont Ridge Road and Route 7 intersection with an interchange, you’ll just move the traffic jam up to the next light.  Next source of pain will be at Route 7 and Battlefield Parkway.

Here is a quick cheap fix for speeding up 7.  Close the gap in Russell Branch Parkway in Ashburn near Claiborne.  And close the gap between Lexington and Riverside.  This gives you access roads on either side of 7 and you can close down both the Ashburn and Lexington intersections on 7.  Far too many people don’t understand the concept of merging at speed so don’t add the expensive flyovers.

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