Parkway to Get Missing Link

Parkway to Get Missing Link

County to use gasoline tax funds for Claiborne.

Where the road ends is no more. A 1,200-foot missing link on Claiborne Parkway near the proposed Route 7 interchange will be paved, thanks to the Board of Supervisors’ decision Monday to apply $500,000 from the Fiscal Year 2003-04 State Revenue Sharing Program funds to the project.

"We’re trying to figure out how to make up the gap," said Terrie Laycock, assistant county administrator.

The county plans to have the Claiborne Parkway constructed, mostly through proffers, from Route 7 to the existing section of roadway in Ashburn Farm, which connects to the Dulles Greenway. Claiborne Parkway will be a four-lane divided roadway.

The missing link will connect the Route 7 interchange to Russell Branch Parkway. Xerox Realty proffered the interchange to be built by Lansdowne Development, with construction beginning in spring 2003 and the project completed in 2004.

Each year, the county allocates $500,000 in local gasoline tax funds to use as the local match required for the program. The state set aside $30 million this year, capping the funds provided to participating counties at $500,000.

LOUDOUN'S PROJECT is estimated to cost $1.5 million, funded with up to $1 million in revenue sharing funds, $230,000 from a transportation proffer from the Courts of Ashburn if approved by the Board of Supervisors and up to $500,000 excess FY-03 revenue sharing funds from the Route 7 and Route 659 intersection improvement project if approved by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).

VDOT has not bid out construction of the Claiborne Parkway section.

"I think it’s bad policy to take money out of funds before we have bids," said Supervisor Drew Hiatt (R-Dulles).

"It’s more important to take the position of completing something we started," said William Bogard (R-Sugarland Run) in response. "We need to connect the dots."

Once the interchange at Route 7 and Claiborne Parkway is constructed, Ashburn Road will be cul-de-sac-ed before Route 7 to close off access to the roadway.

The board approved a motion 8-1 to send a letter to VDOT requesting the funds with Hiatt voting against.

IN OTHER BUSINESS, the Board of Supervisors:

* Unanimously approved applying to become an affiliate community member of the Virginia Main Street Program, which is based in the State Department of Housing and Community Development and offers training and technical assistant to members on downtown revitalization. The membership does not require a monetary fee.

* Unanimously approved an application submitted by Steeplechase Sportsplex LLC of Silver Spring, Md. for a special exemption to build an indoor recreation facility on 10.6 acres in the Steeplechase Business Park, which is zoned Planned Development – Industrial Park (PD-IP). The site is located east of Atlantic Boulevard between Steeplechase Drive and Severn Way.

* Unanimously approved sending a proposed entrance sign program to the transportation committee for further study. The program would be initially funded with $24,000 in Transient Occupancy Tax Opportunity Funds for entrance signs on the primary road approaches into Loudoun County and in participating towns and villages.

"I don’t see it as an advertisement," said Sally Kurtz (D-Catoctin). "This is a type of gateway measure … a large visual cue telling you to change your driving pattern.

Twelve signs, including two spare signs, are proposed to be placed on Dulles Toll Road and Routes 28, 7, 50, 9 and 287. Another 12 signs are proposed for the towns and villages, including the villages of Lucketts, Paeonian Springs and Taylorstown.

The funds will cover the costs of materials, labor and installation of the signs.