Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Heavy Equipment Transports Continue; Detours Tonight for Rt. 15 Closure

The transport of heavy equipment into the area for an energy facility that is under construction in Leesburg will continue tonight, Wednesday, Feb. 10, and will cause the closure of Route 15 in both directions from Route 50 to Masons Lane from 9:45 p.m. to 1 a.m. tomorrow, Thursday, Feb. 11.
 
The closure will continue onto Masons Lane before traveling down Sycolin Road. As part of the equipment transport, a detour will be established for motorists traveling on Route 15.
 
For Route 15 southbound motorists, the detour is as follows:
  • Turn left onto Evergreen Mills Road
  • Turn right onto Loudoun County Parkway after 12 miles
  • Turn right on Route 50 after 1 mile
  • Turn left onto Route 15 south after 6.2 miles
 
For Route 15 northbound motorists, the detour is as follows:
  • Turn right onto Route 50
  • Turn left onto Loudoun County Parkway after 6.2 miles
  • Turn left onto Evergreen Mills Road after 1 mile
  • Turn right onto Route 15 north after 12 miles
 
Sign boards have been placed along the route to assist motorists.
 
All dates are subject to change. Additional equipment will be moved into the county through March.
 
The Virginia Department of Transportation has placed sign boards in the area advising motorists of the potential for delays. You can also visit www.511virginia.org for Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) traffic information.
 
For more information on the facility and road impacts, please visit www.loudoun.gov/panda.

 
 

Friday, January 29, 2016

Clear Sidewalks and Watch for Children in School Zones

Although warmer weather is in the forecast for this weekend, many of the sidewalks surrounding county schools remain covered in ice and snow. The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office reminds motorists to be vigilant driving through school zones as students return to school next week.

Due to the heavy snowfall, many crosswalks and sidewalks will remain blocked and impassible. This may cause an increase in the number of students walking along the roadways. Please use extreme caution in these areas.

Please clear your sidewalks and walkways, as is required under Loudoun County Code 1022.01, to help students walking to school and bus stops.


 
 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

VDOT: Patience Appreciated As Subdivision Work Continues

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) reports that crews are making significant progress on 16,000 subdivision streets across Northern Virginia.

 

VDOT's goal is to make one lane of all subdivisions passable by 6 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 27. If you do not have one passable lane by 6 a.m. tomorrow, contact VDOT at 1-800-FOR-ROAD or novainfo@vdot.virginia.gov.

 

Passable is defined by VDOT as the ability for a rear wheel drive vehicle to operate safely. This means that roads will not be cleared down to bare pavement and will not be cleared curb to curb. Clearing the remaining subdivisions involves heavy equipment and is more slow-going, especially from a blizzard this large.  Increasing traffic is a major problem and it is slowing the movement of heavy equipment and the snow removal process, it is also placing the public and heavy equipment operators in danger, so please stay off the roads.

 

Current Status

  • Streets that have not one passable lane are the main priority.
  • Primary and secondary roads remain treacherous—expect limited visibility from snow mounds at merges, intersections, and ramps. Use extreme caution, as many lanes have shifted, and can end unexpectedly. Crews are also treating for melting and refreezing every day.
  • Traffic has increased significantly.  Drivers are reminded to avoid travel, as it slows the movement of heavy equipment between subdivisions and places everyone at risk.
  • The excessive demand on the customer service center phone line (800-367-ROAD) and www.vdotplows.org site has caused server problems, which are being addressed.
  •  Crews are still working on streets and roads.  To give crews a chance to finish their plow assignments, VDOT asks that residents have patience reporting missed roads, as crews are working every snow assignment simultaneously.  We have more work to do, and are working as hard and fast as we can. 

 

Resources

  • Crews remain at a full mobilization level for at least the next 48 hours. 4,000 pieces of equipment are in service, including over 450 pieces of heavy equipment, and will continue to be redeployed to other areas as needed.  Additional heavy equipment and crews are being brought in.  If equipment is needed for emergency services, it will be redeployed immediately.
  • Crews are using equipment from VDOT and private contractors from as far as Connecticut, and any group that may have heavy equipment, including quarries and contractors. VDOT resources have been received from Lynchburg, Salem, Bristol, Richmond, and Hampton Roads.
  • VDOT invites contractors with loaders, Bobcats, motor graders and operators to contact VDOT Northern Virginia's procurement office at 703-259-3240

 

About Subdivision Clearing

  • Clearing the 16,000 subdivision streets is a major undertaking, with challenges such as tight spots, working around driveways, mailboxes, and limited space in cul-de-sacs. 
  • Due to the massive snowfall, passable secondary roads will have only one lane, narrow access points, will remain snow-packed and will not be cleared curb-to-curb. Crews will sand hills, curves and intersections where needed to provide traction.
  • VDOT has approximately almost four times the amount of equipment available in previous years, the type of equipment needed for this phase of the response is of a much larger scale and complexity. The smaller plows that VDOT typically uses in subdivision are effective up to 10 inches of snow.  Some neighborhoods of northern Virginia received upwards of 40 inches of snow and require heavier equipment. Front-end loaders and motor graders are typically snow of the equipment typically used for these special needs. 
  • Crews are not hauling snow, but simply moving it out of the road, to expedite the opening of the road. Work in subdivisions now requires heavy equipment that must be put on trailers and transported to subdivisions. Work that would take a plow one hour now takes between 8-10 hours for heavy equipment to complete.
  • Crews are asked to be mindful of pushing large piles of snow onto driveways, sidewalks, and fire hydrants.  
  • Within subdivisions, the first priority addressed is the major arteries, then side roads and cul de-sacs.  You may see crews treat a major artery several times before addressing a cul-de-sac. The arteries must remain passable for emergency vehicles.
  • If you are experiencing an emergency, please call 9-1-1. We work with public safety to redeploy as needed to support emergency response.

 

Other VDOT resources:

 

VDOT's Northern Virginia District includes Loudoun, Fairfax, Prince William and Arlington counties (Arlington maintains its own secondary roads).



 
 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Loudoun County Ordinance for Snow Emergency Routes

To make way for snow-clearing operations, the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office is reminding residents that  vehicles parked or abandoned on any snow emergency route, or considered to be road hazards, will be removed at the owners expense. Cars that are in the lane of traffic on any road, and deemed a hazard, or a barrier to snow-removal, may also be towed. Vehicles will be towed to the towing company's tow lot.
 
According to Loudoun County Ordinance 466.06, the Loudoun Sheriff's Office may remove, or cause to be removed, any vehicle that is stalled, stuck, parked or abandoned on or along any snow emergency route (including exit ramps). The full ordinance can be found online at www.loudoun.gov/ordinances .
 
If you have questions regarding your parked or abandoned vehicle, please call the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office non-emergency line at 703-777-1021
 
The following highways in the County are designated as snow emergency routes:
      (1)   Route 7
      (2)   Business Route 7
      (3)   Route 9
      (4)   Route 15
      (5)   Business Route 15
      (6)   Route 28
      (7)   Route 50
      (8)   Route 287
      (9)   Route 340
      (10)   Route 606
      (11)   Route 846 (Sterling Boulevard)
      (12)   Route 637 (from Route 7 to Algonkian Parkway)
      (13)   Countryside Boulevard (from Route 7 to Algonkian Parkway)
      (14)   Route 625 from Route 28 to Route 846 (Sterling Boulevard)
      (15)   Route 671 (from Route 9 to Route 340)
      (16)   Route 672 (from Route 15 to Route 287)
      (17)   Algonkian Parkway (from Fairfax County Line to Winding Road)
      (18)   Palisades Parkway (from Route 7 to Potomac View Road)
      (19)   Cascades Parkway (from West Church Road to the entrance of Algonkian Park)
      (20)   Ashburn Village Boulevard (from Route 7 to end of State maintenance)
      (21)   Gloucester Parkway (from Route 641 to Ashburn Village Boulevard)
      (22)   Waxpool Road (from Route 28 to Lefevre Inn Drive)
      (23)   Route 640 (from Route 625 to Route 641)
      (24)   Ashburn Farms Parkway (from Route 641 to Route 659)
      (25)   Claiborne Parkway (from Route 642 to Greenway Route 267)
      (26)   Route 641 (from Route 7 to Route 625)


 
 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Loudoun County Transit Service

Because of the impending storm, Loudoun County Transit has canceled commuter bus service for Rosslyn, Crystal City, the Pentagon, Washington D.C. and the Metrorail stations for Friday, Jan. 22. In addition, local fixed-route and paratransit bus services will cease at 1 p.m. Friday afternoon.

 

Normal service is tentatively scheduled to resume on Monday morning, Jan. 25. Bus riders should monitor the Loudoun County website at www.loudoun.gov/bus or call 703-771-5665 (1-877-GO-LCBUS) after 4 a.m. Monday for the latest information. 

 

Information will also be posted at www.loudoun.gov.



 
 

VDOT Prepares for Storm

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) reports that it will have all of its resources on-hand for tomorrow's powerful storm, expected to bring extreme snow accumulations and blizzard-like conditions to Northern Virginia.

 

"We ask that drivers prepare now to stay home tomorrow and Saturday," said Branco Vlacich, VDOT's district maintenance engineer for Northern Virginia.

 

"For the public safety and the safety of VDOT employees, it will be vital to stay off the roads those two days as the storm comes through. Our crews are preparing for heavy accumulation, limited visibility and severe road conditions, and they will need the roads to be clear of traffic to make repeated passes on roads throughout the storm."

 

Preparations                

Adding to residual treatment left from last night's storm, crews continue to pre-treat major roads and trouble spots today in Loudoun, Arlington, Fairfax and Prince William Counties. On interstate bridges and ramps prone to freezing such as the Springfield interchange, I-66 at Route 29 and the Capital Beltway at Route 1, crews use liquid magnesium chloride. On other major roads, such as the Fairfax County Parkway and routes 1, 7, 28, 29, and 50, problem spots will be pre-treated with salt brine.

 

About 4,000 trucks will begin reporting at 7 p.m. tonight to load materials and then stage along interstates, major roads and subdivision streets in Northern Virginia. Interstate, major roads and subdivisions will be plowed simultaneously.

What Drivers and Residents Should Do Now

  • Make plans now to stay off the roads both Friday and Saturday. With two days of snow, road conditions are expected to be treacherous, with limited visibility and blizzard-like conditions. Crews will need as much room as possible to plow and treat roads.
  • Park in driveways or on the odd-numbered side of the street before the snow begins, to allow plows to clear the road ahead.

 

Resources



 
 

VDOT Asks Drivers to Delay Commute or Telework

Loudoun County drivers are asked to delay commutes or to telework this morning, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).

Drivers who must head out are asked to use extreme caution, as low ground temperatures overnight mean that even treated roads have refrozen. 

Slow down, allow extra time to destinations and take extra care on areas prone to freezing such as bridges, ramps and secondary roads.

VDOT reports that about 500 trucks worked through the night to clear extremely treacherous conditions. Crews will remain on duty through the morning rush hour to continually treat slick roads.

Here are several resources to help with your commute:
•          Check www.511virginia.org for road conditions
•          Follow @VaDOTNOVA on Twitter
•          Get more details on snow removal (PDF) in Northern Virginia
 

Monday, January 11, 2016

Traffic Delays Expected This Week at Old Ox Road and Mercure Circle

Drivers using Route 606 (Old Ox Road) and Mercure Circle just west of Dulles Airport may experience some slow traffic through Jan. 15, due to dump trucks carrying fill dirt into the site of a future rail yard and maintenance facility now under construction on Route 606. Traffic on other roads in eastern Loudoun also may be affected.
 
Deliveries are taking place between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.
 
The rail yard and maintenance facility will serve Phase 2 of the Metrorail's Silver Line which will run from Wiehle Avenue in Reston to Ashburn.
 
More information on the fill material importing operation and the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project is online at www.dullesmetro.com. More information about Phase 2 of the Silver Line in Loudoun is online at www.loudoun.gov/dullesrail.


 
 

Friday, January 8, 2016

SCC Will Receive Comments on Dulles Greenway Toll Increase Request

The State Corporation Commission (SCC) will receive comments on a request by the owners of the Dulles Greenway to adjust the tolls charged for traveling the 14-mile roadway that runs between Washington Dulles International Airport and Leesburg. Comments must be received by Feb. 5.

Toll Road Investors Partnership II (TRIP II) filed its application on December 30, 2015, and pursuant to §56-542 I of the Code of Virginia, is asking for the annual percentage increase in tolls of 2.8% as well as an additional increase in tolls of $0.0182 to recover an increase in property taxes paid by TRIP II in 2015.

For a two-axle vehicle, the proposed increase equates to 10 cents, from $4.30 to $4.40. During peak morning and afternoon weekday periods, the proposed increase is 15 cents, from $5.20 to $5.35.

Written comments on the request must be submitted by Feb. 5, 2016. All correspondence should be sent to the Clerk of the State Corporation Commission, Document Control Center, P.O. Box 2118, Richmond, Virginia 23218-2118, and refer to case number PUE-2015-00137.

Interested persons desiring to submit comments electronically may do so at the SCC's website: www.scc.virginia.gov/case. Click on the PUBLIC COMMENTS/NOTICES link and then the SUBMIT COMMENTS button for case number PUE-2015-00137.

SCC staff has been directed to investigate the application and file a report on February 5, 2016. The Commission will then issue an order on the company's request.

 

Loudoun Commissioner of The Revenue Asks Vehicle Owners to Verify Information Online

Loudoun County residents will soon begin receiving in the mail notice of personal property tax filing requirements for tax year 2016. Each notice will contain an account number that taxpayers will use to review and update their personal property tax records online at www.loudoun.gov/efile
 
Loudoun County Commissioner of the Revenue, Robert S. Wertz, Jr., is asking vehicle owners to review and update their personal property tax account information by Feb. 1. 
 
Residents can report an address change, a vehicle sale or unusually high mileage since these may affect their tax bills. Newly acquired vehicles or those recently entering Loudoun County must be reported to the Commissioner of the Revenue within 60 days of purchase or move to Loudoun County.
 
For information or filing assistance, visit www.loudoun.gov/cor or contact the Office of the Commissioner of the Revenue at ppdcor@loudoun.gov or 703-777-0260
 
If you do not have Internet access, you may submit a written statement with any changes or visit the Revenue Office at 1 Harrison Street in Leesburg or 21641 Ridgetop Circle in Sterling weekdays 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Loudoun County Transit Wants to Know Where You Want to Go

Loudoun County is accepting suggestions for new and improved bus routes that would go into effect in 2017. Suggestions can include modifications to existing routes or brand new service in places where there is no service.
 
"If you've ever thought, 'it would be great if a bus came through my neighborhood and took me to the Wiehle Metro,' this is your chance to suggest that route," said Paul Mounier, Loudoun County transit and commuter services manager.
 
"Our staff is continually analyzing data to make our routes better, but that is only one piece of the puzzle. We want to find out what people's preferences are." Mounier added. "A bus system is successful when it connects people to where they want to go."
 
There are limited resources, so not all suggested routes will be developed and the changes won't happen immediately. The Board of Supervisors must endorse and approve the funding for the recommended routes. If the Board approves the suggested routes, they will be included in the Fiscal Year 2018 budget with service scheduled to begin in July of 2017.
 
Suggestions may be sent by email to transitcomments@loudoun.gov or mailed to Paul Mounier, Transit and Commuter Services Manager, Department of Transportation and Capital Infrastructure, P.O. Box 7000, Leesburg VA 20177.
 
For staff to have time to evaluate the proposals and develop cost and operational impacts for the Board of Supervisors to consider, comments must be received by March 1, 2016.
 
More information is available online at www.loudoun.gov/transit.