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Mysterious Landform Becomes Part of Scenery

Rising out of the ground at the intersection of Rolling Road and the Fairfax County Parkway is a dirt mound of mystery. Neighbors in the adjacent neighborhood Daventree Park or the Crosswinds neighborhood see it on a daily basis as do commuters on Rolling Road everyday.

Cynthia Fernandez, a resident of Crosswinds for the past four years, sees trucks coming and going but nothing changes.

"They put it up and then they bring it down [dirt]," she said.

Teresa Ayala sees the same. She's lived there 15 years.

"I see people working all the time but I don't know what they're doing," she said.

INQUIRIES to the Virginia Department of Transportation landscape office as well as the Fairfax County supervisors office in Springfield went unanswered.

Joe Thomas, a retired resident of the neighborhood, has a handle on the operation, or so he thought.

"The state owns that, it is for the mixing bowl. It's been there for years, it was three times higher," he said.

Although the mixing bowl project would seem like a likely candidate for any VDOT operations in this area, it is not going east, according to VDOT information specialist Donna Kierstead. It is from the project at the intersection of Lee Chapel Road and Old Keene Mill Road.

"They'll try to shape it. They're going to landscape and seed it," she said.

Kierstead quoted regulations which named it "wasting" — their name for an area of dirt leftover from construction projects.

"Environmental regulations say it must be seeded within two weeks if it's not being worked," she said. Construction company Golden Eagle is in charge of that intersection project so the only trucks working the area should be from that company.

THE HILL IS BEING worked while construction continues and half of it is covered with dried grass, planted at a time when rain was plentiful. On the top, pointing east is a bird house that is weather beaten.

Ellen Vogel, a VDOT landscaping architect, uncovered the same fate for the hill but recommended residents that see any of the dirt seeping onto the roadway or improper materials being dumped should call authorities.

"To save VDOT money, they put it in places like right-of-ways. When they finish [Lee Chapel Road intersection] it will be leveled and seeded," Vogel said.