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VDOT Explains Telegraph Road Interchange Project

What changes are anticipated in the Telegraph Road Interchange design? And, what about the so-called "fly over" at the intersection of Telegraph Road and Huntington Avenue?

These questions and others were dealt with by representatives of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project and the Virginia Department of Transportation April 19 during a second Information Workshop at Cameron Elementary School, 3434 Campbell Drive, Lee District, Fairfax County.

Although there was no formal presentation, those attending were asked to present their opinions to VDOT representatives. "The primary purpose of this session is to familiarize citizens with changes in the design of the Telegraph Road Interchange and the proposed grade separation at Huntington Avenue and North Kings Highway," said Ronaldo "Nick" Nicholson, Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project manager, VDOT.

The previous meeting, focusing on this element of the bridge project, was held in June 2005. At that time there were concerns expressed about the proposed grade separation proposal and traffic being funneled directly on Huntington Avenue from the outer loop of the Capital Beltway.

Although not a part of the original Telegraph Road Interchange design, the grade separation, or "fly over," became a possibility due to "construction cost savings within the Woodrow Wilson Bridge project," according to VDOT. Those changes and others were displayed on a series of rendering at the meeting.

The purpose of last Wednesday night's public workshop was "to provide updates to the ongoing design process," many of which have resulted from input received at the June 2005 workshop, according to VDOT personnel. They pertain to the following areas:

. Environmental Impact:This compared the impact on various environmental elements between the previous at-grade design and the proposed grade separation design. A copy of this summary can be found on the Project's website at www.wilsonbridge.com/nn-telegraphRd-cu.htm

. Traffic Improvements: VDOT maintains that the grade separation design eliminates congestion at the intersection of Telegraph Road/Huntington Avenue/North Kings Highway by removing the need for traffic signals and providing direct access onto Huntington Avenue and North Kings Highway.

. Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvements: A sidewalk from Burgundy Road to Telegraph Road on the south side of East Drive coupled with a crosswalk and pedestrian signal.

. A multiuse trail along the east side of Telegraph Road from Lenore north, over the Beltway, connecting to Eisenhower Avenue.

. Additional sidewalks connecting Telegraph Road, North Kings Highway and Huntington Avenue providing better access to the Huntington Metro Station.

. An additional sidewalk on the Telegraph Road Bridge over the railroad between Duke Street and Pershing Drive.

Attendees were assured that construction meetings will continue with residents of areas impacted by construction activities to keep them informed of schedules, traffic changes and other pertinent details.