Fixing the Flooding

Fixing the Flooding

Repair work to Route 7 will smooth intersection at Georgetown Pike.

A portion of Route 7 will soon be repaved, courtesy of long-awaited funding received last week by the Virginia Department of Transportation.

At last week’s Great Falls Citizens Association meeting, President David Olin mentioned that between $6 million and $9 million in federal funding had been received by Congressman Tom Wolf’s office for the project, which will repave the section of Route 7 between the Rolling Holly and the Reston Parkway.

“A while back, the state started a project to widen Route 7 and started at the Fairfax and Loudoun County lines,” said Vicky Dorman, a legislative aid from Dranesville District Supervisor Joan DuBois’ office. “We just found out that that section of the road is fully funded. The section of the road between the Reston Parkway and the Dulles Toll Road is still a glimmer in all our eyes,” she said.

The project is “a good thing” for Great Falls, as it will include leveling and smoothing the intersection of Georgetown Pike and Route 7, which is currently on a slope and uneven, she said.

“We have no idea when it’s scheduled to begin,” she said of the roadwork. “We will be meeting to go over the details of this project, and there will be lots of public meetings as this progresses.”

The money is also currently unavailable to handle the flood problems at the Colvin Run area of Difficult Run Stream valley, she said. “We’re in the preliminary engineering stages for that project. We just received $1 million in federal funding, which changes the course of the project, but nothing will currently be done east of the Reston Parkway” until further planning and funding are in place, said Dorman.

If the Colvin Run section of the project is funded, it may include raising that portion of the road some seven to eight feet to eliminate the flooding that occurs with heavy rains, Olin said.

“Well, if you’re going to have Chicago in Tysons, what do you expect?” said board member Eleanor Anderson of the storm water runoff in the area resulting from lack of penetrable ground.

During the executive board meeting, members discussed the need to update the GFCA’s Web site.

“We’d like to update it every month if I could get Kathy to send me the minutes from each meeting,” Olin said, referring to current secretary Kathleen Foley.

“In everything we do, we put that Web site on it,” said Dianne Van Volkenburg, a board member. ‘We need to be out there and on top of everything [in the community] just as much as other groups or people,” she said. Currently, the site has not been updated in about a year.

THE WEB SITE is “hard to Google and find,” she said, which discourages possible new residents of the area to learn what is going on in the community. “I assume people who are moving here would go to the site and see what’s going on here,” she said.

“We’ve become stagnant over nit-picking our choice words [in meeting minutes] instead of being grateful that someone took the ball and ran with it,” Van Volkenburg said of putting information online.

The possibility of adding a poll question regarding certain facets of community life may draw more people to the site as well, Anderson suggested.

“Depending on what [Supervisor DuBois] has in mind on this vision finding, maybe it would be nice to have the Web site up and on top of things enough to let people use it and find out what they think and what they’d like to see Great Falls become,” she said.

The vision finding process, when it fully beings, will be coordinated between DuBois’ office and members of the Great Falls community to discuss hot-button issues like growth and development.

“We’re all talking about this in a room full of people, and there are some very energetic people in the room,” Olin said. He suggested the board wait until the August meeting, as elections will be held in June, and there will not be a general membership meeting until August.

The board also briefly touched upon the development meeting in Vienna two weeks ago that focused on future growth of Fairfax County.

“The entire audience was filled with people from community groups that wanted to speak,” Olin said.

“People were angry that not many representatives from the Board of Supervisors were there,” said board member Estelle Holly.

“They were all at the Tysons meeting,” Anderson said.

“I guess the Chicago-ization of Tysons trumps bringing Arlington to Great Falls,” Olin said.