Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Ashburn District Updates: Rail to Loudoun County; Belmont Ridge Road and Morley Corner

From Ashburn District Supervisor Ralph Buona's February Ashburn District newsletter comes this update on Rail to Loudoun County:

The Board is anxiously awaiting the delivery of the preliminary engineering study for Phase 2 of the Metro project also known as the Silver Line or “Rail to Loudoun”. This study was conducted by Parsons Brinckerhoff and Aecom and submitted on Wednesday, February 29th to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA). Once we receive this study from MWAA, we will have 90 days to decide whether to “stay in” or “opt out” of the project. I have long been a proponent of Rail to Loudoun for myriad reasons; however, I am reserving my final support of until I have had a chance to review the overall financial picture, from both a capital investment and long-term operating perspective.

Before giving my final support I also want to ensure that MWAA removes any mandatory mention of a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) from its bid documents including their current bid preference to union-based companies. Virginia is a right to work state and I cannot support any project that provides preference to union labor as it would preclude most Virginia companies and Virginia workers from participating in the project. All I ask is that all bidders be treated equally to ensure we keep costs to the absolute minimum.

Buona also updates residents on several transportation projects:

Route 659 (Belmont Ridge Road)/ Route 7: The first phase of the public process for the construction of the Route 659 (Belmont Ridge Road)/ Route 7 interchange was held on February 23 at Seldon’s Landing Elementary. The public input meeting was led by engineering consultant Dewberry. Close to 30 residents posed questions to Dewberry, Loudoun County and VDOT staff during the meeting. Dozens of residents and other interested community members reviewed design plans and maps, and posed questions to Loudoun County and VDOT staff, as well as Dewberry representatives. This project will reconstruct the current intersection of Route 7 and Belmont Ridge Road to a “single-point, urban interchange”, with Belmont Ridge passing over Route 7. Belmont Ridge Road is scheduled to be widened and realigned to four lanes through the intersection with Gloucester Parkway. A shared use trail will run on both sides of the road and continue over the overpass to connect to the Lansdowne community. Stay tuned for updates as this project continues.

Morley Corner - Waxpool Road/Faulkner Parkway/Unbridled Way: This project is to design and widen Waxpool Road between Faulkner Parkway and Unbridled Way from two to four lanes. A traffic signal will be installed at the four-way stop currently at Ashburn Village Boulevard and Waxpool Road. The project is being administered by the Loudoun Office of Transportation and Department of Construction and Waste Management. It is fully funded at this time with the estimated cost at $5.2 million. The design of the project is completed. Right of way plats and deeds of dedication are being prepared. When Right of Way has been obtained, the project will go out to bid and construction is anticipated to begin in the early fall.

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