Soon, the 1.4-mile "roughing-it" ride down Loudoun County Parkway will become a smooth path to the Ashburn Post Office and the Dulles business district.
The gravel section south of Route 7 to Redskins Park will be paved within the next two years. Two lanes will be added to the existing roadway to create a four-lane divided section of roadway that will shift back to two lanes at Redskins Park.
"It's the traffic volume down in that area, and it's to provide another north-south link through the county other than Route 15 and Route 28," said Terrie Laycock, assistant county administrator.
Funding for the section will come from the state and a development proffer. More than $3.9 million in state funds intended for paving secondary roads in Loudoun will be transferred to the project, since several county residents indicated that they did not want the gravel roads to be paved, said Charles Harris (D-Broad Run).
The remainder of the funding, which is $6.2 million, will come from a proffer provided to the county by DeMatteis Virginia, LLC, the developers of the Commonwealth Center office park near the intersection of Route 7 and Loudoun County Parkway, or Route 607. Through a special exception approved in 2002, the office park will be allowed to have up to 1.4 million square feet of office space and 120,000 square feet of flex industrial space in exchange for proffers.
“We negotiated with developers to put additional money in early for the project,” Harris said.
Without the funding, the unpaved section of Loudoun County Parkway would have been funded through the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT). “It could have been many years out depending on how soon we got the funding for it,” Laycock said. “Then it is a three to four-year process to get the project through to bid after preliminary engineering and design.”
VDOT currently is negotiating with Route 28 Corridor Improvements, LLC, the group of construction companies working on the Route 28 expansion project, to construct the roadway. The Public-Private Partnership Act brought together public and private entities to push the addition of three interchanges to Route 28 ahead of VDOT’s regular transportation schedule. The partnership allows — if funding becomes available — for construction companies to work on parallel roads, including Loudoun County Parkway. The work is proposed as a change order to the Route 28 project.
A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled at 11:30 a.m. on Oct. 23.