Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Transportation Updates from Loudoun County Supervisor Sally R. Kurtz

Here's several transit/transportation updates from Loudoun County Supervisor Sally R. Kurtz's Catoctin District Update (May) e-newsletter.

Edwards Ferry Road Closing at Battlefield Parkway
On Monday, June 20, through Friday, August 19 Edwards Ferry Road will be closed at the Battlefield Parkway intersection. The closure will speed up the opening of two lanes of the new Battlefield Parkway section from Edwards Ferry Road, south to Fort Evans Road. By completing this final segment of Battlefield Parkway access to the northern portions of the Town will be improved and congestion on the Route 15 Bypass will be reduced.

The detour will be clearly marked and will use parts of Fort Evans Road and River Creek Parkway. More information can be found at www.leesburgva.gov/index.aspx?page=724.

Dulles Rail Station and action regarding the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority

The Board of Supervisors has taken action on several fronts in its continued opposition to the decision of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) Board of Directors in favor of an underground alignment for the proposed Metrorail station at Dulles International Airport.

Board of Supervisors directed the County Administrator to seek additional information from MWAA and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority regarding the potential impacts on Dulles Metrorail, the operations at Dulles Airport, and any possible extension further into Loudoun County should the Board vote to opt out of the funding agreement for Phase 2 of the project.

The Board also voted to send a letter to MWAA Board Chairman Charles Snelling reiterating the Board’s position that MWAA should reconsider its decision to select the underground station alternative, and if it does not, that the additional costs associated with the underground station must be fully borne by MWAA without using additional Dulles Toll Road revenue. The letter will also include a strong objection to the use of a mandatory “Project Labor Agreement” for Phase 2 of the Metrorail extension.

The Loudoun Board supports the above-ground alignment of the proposed Metrorail station at Dulles Airport because it is more cost-effective. An underground station will add approximately $300 million to the project cost and bring the total cost for Phase 2 to $3.5 billion. This will raise Loudoun County’s total contribution to the project to $300 million.

The Board also voted to support Virginia Congressman Frank Wolf’s proposed legislation expanding Virginia’s membership on the MWAA Board to nine members and giving greater authority to the Governors of Virginia and Maryland, the Mayor of the District of Columbia, and the President to remove and replace members of the MWAA Board. The Supervisors also voted to send a letter to Loudoun County’s federal and state delegations and the Governor of Virginia, indicating the county’s support of the legislation. The Supervisors also asked that four new Virginia appointees be chosen by Loudoun, Fairfax and Arlington Counties.

More information about the Dulles Corridor Rail Project in Loudoun County is online at www.loudoun.gov/dullesrail.

Since 1998, Loudoun County and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) have been working together to provide roadway safety improvements along U.S. Route 15, specifically in the area between Leesburg and the Maryland State Line at Point of Rocks. Per the jointly approved U.S. Route 15 Safety Improvements Project, one of the focus areas will be safety improvements for the Village of Lucketts.

Recently, VDOT revived the project by selecting a consultant to develop the preliminary design. Design will follow the 2006 concept plan approved by the Lucketts-area citizens and Loudoun County. Through the preliminary design phase, the consultant will perform an updated survey, collect traffic data and complete atraffic analysis, and develop the preliminary design to current standards.

A public information session is anticipated to be held to update the citizens in the summer 2011.

If you have concerns about specific roadway conditions, like potholes or dangerous ditches brought on by all of the rainy weather of late, call 1-800-FOR-ROAD (1-800-367-7623).

VDOT Project Status

VDOT is preparing to begin repaving operations throughout the region. Sections of a number of Loudoun primary and secondary roads are included.

Preliminary Engineering Projects
Route 15 North - Plan for Lucketts Safety Initiatives – Project reinitiated with consultants updating traffic and survey data. Construction remains unfunded.

Route 7 – Operational Improvements Potomac View Road to Augusta Drive – Plans are being finalized for submission to VDOT and appropriate agencies; construction bid process planned for Spring, 2011. County and VDOT staff to meet to discuss outstanding issues with design elements.

Route 7 – East Market Street to South King Street [Sycolin Road Overpass Only] – After briefing the Leesburg Town Council and Board of Supervisors at a joint meeting in October, the scope of the project has been reduced to include only the Sycolin Road overpass. The consultant has been given direction accordingly. The anticipated cost is between $23-25 million. The project has been included on the illustrative project list developed as part of the recent transportation initiatives at the State level.

Route 7 Climbing Lane/West Market Street to Route 9 – The project was presented at the Shenstone community’s annual HOA meeting on March 9, 2011. The preliminary field inspection was held at VDOT’s March Project Day, and VDOT’s value engineering process was conducted March 22-23, 2011. Work on the NEPA document has been initiated and is anticipated to be complete by this summer. VDOT expects to hold its design public hearing in fall, 2011.

Route 7/659 Interchange Design (County Project) – Staff and the consultant are moving forward with the NEPA document. Additionally, the project has been included on the illustrative project list developed as part of the recent transportation initiatives at the State level. As with the Sycolin Road Overpass, staff will be monitoring the draft FY2012-2017 Six-Year Plan to ensure that the project is shown in the Plan, with funding. In anticipation of the project receiving funding, County and VDOT staff met on March 2, 2011 to discuss options for project delivery. As it stands, the County will administer preliminary engineering to completion with a design-bid-build delivery, VDOT and the County will coordinate roles and responsibilities with respect to the NEPA document (meeting scheduled for March 30, 2011), VDOT will acquire ROW, and the County will administer construction of the project.

Route 9 – Town of Hillsboro Pedestrian Improvement Project – A work session was held on March 17, 2011 to coordinate the historic and cultural resources component of the NEPA document and to coordinate the Town’s efforts to upgrade its water distribution system.The Virginia Department of Historical Resources (VDHR) has determined that the roundabouts contained within the project constitute an adverse impact on historic resources. An MOA will be required to address the findings of VDHR.

Lovettsville Bike Trail – The draft public hearing plans were presented to the Lovettsville Town Council on March 3, 2011. As currently designed, the project would have a significantly higher construction cost and significantly greater ROW impacts than what the Town can afford or had envisioned. VDOT is investigating options to reduce the project’s footprint and cost, but will need the Town’s concurrence to proceed with additional design.

Evergreen Mill Road/Ryan Road Intersection Improvements – The project scoping was held at VDOT’s March Project Day. The scope will include left- and right-turn lanes on Ryan Road. Work is under way to prepare preliminary field inspection plans.

Riverside Parkway( County Project– Revenue Sharing) – Notice to proceed was issued to the consultant and a kick-off meeting was held with VDOT on October 8, 2010. The consultant has established design parameters for the project and a traffic study has been completed to confirm the lane configuration. This information has been submitted to VDOT for preliminary review. Once VDOT responds to the proposed configuration, the consultant will resume work on the final design. Also, staff plans to meet with Potomac Station HOA to inform them of the preliminary design configuration when it is available.

The Woods Road – The scheduled delivery date for the Location Survey was May 18. Once the survey has been completed delineation and mapping of wetlands can begin.

Sands and Taylor Road (CAD TBD) – These two paving projects are fully funded and are moving forward towards construction. Taylor Road is scheduled for completion first, with an anticipated completion date of November, 2012.

Sands Road will be completed subsequently as it requires additional survey and design work not necessary for Taylor Road. The current estimate for completion is sometime in 2013. A specific completion date will become more firm as the project progresses. In the meantime, the location survey for Sands Road has been initiated.

Ryan Road Shared-Use Path HSIP Application – Application submitted. Awards are expected in the June/July 2011 time frame.

Traffic Engineering Items

Multi-Way Stop request at Potomac Station Drive – VDOT has stated that multiway stop signs can be put at either end of Binkley Circle or at Malloch and Cardston. A speed study was approved by the State Traffic Engineer’s Office for 45 mph on May 10,2010. Given the results of the speed study, multi-way stop signs cannot be installed under traffic calming criteria. OTS staff will review the project in light of the speed study and will determine whether multi-way stops can be installed under operational criteria. Traffic counts are currently in progress.

Request by Fox Lee HOA for traffic calming (multi-waystop sign) and pavement markings in their community – VDOT will need a documented speed study and community petitions to consider the request further. Awaiting petitions from citizens/HOA.

Shreve Mill Through-Truck Restriction – VDOT requires advertisement of public notice for through-truck restrictions that are being considered to allow for public comment. Advertisements for this through-truck restriction have been posted in local papers.

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