State and local partners broke ground today on almost seven miles of transportation improvements coming to Leesburg Pike (Route 7) that will increase capacity, improve safety and traffic flow, and provide better mobility for cyclists and pedestrians.
The project includes adding a third lane to Route 7 in each direction from Reston Avenue to Jarrett Valley Drive in Tysons, building shared-use paths along both sides, replacing and raising the bridge over Difficult Run, adding a pedestrian underpass for Colvin Run Mill Park access, as well as making other substantial intersection, bicycle and pedestrian improvements along the seven-mile corridor (see detailed list of improvements at bottom).
One of the first milestones, a new triple-left turn from westbound Route 7 to southbound Baron Cameron Avenue, is expected to be complete by late August 2019. The entire project is scheduled for completion in summer 2024.
Initial geotechnical, survey, and utility work is underway, as well as a separate, closely coordinated $200 million line upgrade by Washington Gas along the corridor.
During construction, drivers can expect off-peak lane closures, and are encouraged to check specific times and locations of work planned weekly on the project website. Visit www.connectroute7.org throughout the project for updates, including details of periodic “Pardon our Dust” meetings as construction progresses.
Shirley/Dewberry is the contractor for the $252.9 million design-build contract. The project’s total cost, about $313.9 million, includes federal, state (including Smart Scale), Northern Virginia Transportation Authority and Fairfax County funds.
“Close to 52,000 drivers a day travel this important artery in our region, with 86,000 a day projected by 2040,” said Helen Cuervo, P.E., VDOT’s Northern Virginia District Engineer. “Just a year ago we finished completely rehabilitating Route 7 over the Dulles Toll Road, and added more than a mile of new shared-use paths, pedestrian tunnels and walkways in Tysons. With our partners we are excited to be delivering another project that benefits all users and represents years of community collaboration coming to fruition.”
“Fairfax County is committed to enhancing mobility, relieving congestion and providing better connections throughout the region,” said Sharon Bulova, Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. “Widening Route 7 reflects that commitment and closes an important gap in multimodal connectivity to employment, activity centers and transit hubs. We aim to offer current residents and future generations connected and livable communities with access to opportunities.”
“We see the money NVTA has invested in the Route 7/Tysons corridor as well-spent, especially when it gets people home to their families faster,” said Martin E. Nohe, Chairman of the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, and Prince William County’s Coles District Supervisor. “As our region’s population and employment continues to grow, these types of improvements that provide alternate modes of travel for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians alike are critical to improving safety and reducing congestion.”
Full list of improvements:
- Widening the road from four lanes to six lanes
- Building continuous shared-use paths along eastbound and westbound Route 7
- Raising the Difficult Run bridge above flood elevation
- Shared-use trail under the Difficult Run bridge with minimum height clearance of twelve feet
- Adding a pedestrian underpass at Colvin Run Mill Park for enhanced park access
- Shifting Route 7 lanes away from Colvin Run Mill; enlarging culvert under Carpers Farm Way
- Adding noise walls with architectural treatment (where reasonable/feasible per final analysis)
- Adding stormwater ponds
- Replacing/relocating the existing Lewinsville Road intersection with McLean Bible Church’s eastern entrance with a new displaced-left with two coordinated signals
- At Towlston Road, shifting Route 7 away from Andrey Chapel Cemetery; adding right- and left-turn lanes on southbound Towlston Road
- Widening Forestville Road to add southbound left- and right-turn lanes
- Adding a third left-turn lane from westbound Route 7 to southbound Baron Cameron Avenue, as well as a free-flow ramp from northbound Baron Cameron Avenue to eastbound Route 7
- Improving the approach angle from Utterback Store Road to Route 7
- Lengthening left- and right-turn lanes from Route 7 to many side streets along the corridor; eliminating some median crossings for safety
- Building new ADA-compliant sidewalk ramps and marking pedestrian crosswalks where appropriate, including at Towlston, Forestville, and Baron Cameron Avenue.