Detour Ahead

Detour Ahead

Cutting road construction time in half is the driving force behind closing Burke Lake Road and a section of Zion Drive this summer.

From June 16 to Sept. 1, the traffic heading west on Burke Lake Road will not be able to go through from Lee Chapel Road to the Fairfax County Parkway, while workers widen the road to four lanes. Likewise, a hilly stretch of Zion Drive, which has been the site of several accidents, is being closed while the Virginia Department of Transportation reduces a hill and repaves the road surface. In both cases, through-cars will have to avoid the area, and residents will be routed through the side streets.

"It's a little bit of an inconvenience," said Supervisor Sharon Bulova (D-Braddock).

"It's going to be great," said Roger Dittman, who lives off Burke Lake Road. "We get so much cut-through traffic anyway. It would be worth it if they can cut the construction time down."

Pat Frame has been following the project with information released through the Burke Conservancy. Her neighborhood gets its share of cut-through traffic and will get more when Burke Lake Road is blocked.

"I think it's a terrible idea," Frame said. "I have a big enough problem now with all the cars going through. They fly by here."

Frame sees the advantage of closing the road completely while it is under construction, but doesn't like the thought of the increased traffic.

"I'm all for widening the road," Frame said. "I'd like to see speed humps out here."

ON ZION DRIVE, Kinh Le lives in Goin Manor at the foot of the hill that VDOT plans to modify this summer. Le was not aware of the upcoming road work but welcomed it.

"It's very dangerous," Le said. "I saw some accidents, especially in the winter."

When making a left out of Goin Manor, motorists must watch out for cars coming over the hill on Zion Drive. Le can hear the cars at night.

"I hear the brakes, very often you can see the skid marks," Le said. "If it's going to improve it, that's good."

While Zion Drive is closed this summer, New Guinea Road will be the bypass.

"They're going to cut and fill that area with a turn lane," said Florence Naeve, at Bulova's office.

"Police have looked at both road closings to make sure there won't be any emergency vehicle problems," Naeve said.

From March 8 to April 12, a section of Silverbrook Road near the intersection of Ox Road was closed while it was widened. Although money was not saved because of the increased manpower and machines put into the project, time was saved according to Steve Edwards, transportation administrator in Supervisor Elaine McConnell's (R-Springfield) office. Residents in that area were worried about the additional traffic as well.

"It turned out great," Edwards said. "They finished prior to when they expected. I don't think we got a single