In May, local residents attending an informational meeting about VDOT's plan to widen Stringfellow Road in Chantilly to four lanes made their feelings known.
SOME PRAISED the idea and others denounced it. And now, VDOT's compiled all their comments, summarized them in bulleted form and placed them on the project Web site.
To view them, go to www.virginiadot.org/projects/const-project.asp?ID=275, scroll to the bottom of the page and see the section called "Citizens Information Meeting." Then click on the link, "CIM Comment Summary."
The part of Stringfellow between I-66 and Route 29 was four-laned in the 1990s by Fairfax County's Department of Transportation. What's getting into gear now is widening the section from I-66 to Route 50 from two to four lanes, thereby providing a seamless, four-lane conduit between Route 50 in Chantilly and Route 29 in Clifton/Centreville.
Stringfellow's been designated a four-lane, divided road on Fairfax County's Comprehensive Plan since the early 1970s, but the project stalled due to a lack of funds. A November 2004 bond referendum brought $16 million for design and right-of-way acquisition, and now VDOT is seeking the public's input on the design concept.
Due to the area's extensive growth, the project's goal is to reduce traffic congestion on Stringfellow, especially during evening and morning peaks. Two plans are on the table. Each shows four, 12-foot-wide travel lanes, a 10-foot multipurpose trail, a 5-foot sidewalk and a 16-foot, grass median.
But one also includes two, 4-foot, on-road bicycle lanes. Stormwater-management facilities to handle runoff from the impervious surface may be in the mix, too, and soundwalls are also a possibility. Estimated cost in 2006 dollars is $37 million without bike lanes, and $43 million with them.
BUD SIEGEL, a preliminary-engineering manager with VDOT, advised residents to consider, for example, how a 16-foot-wide, raised median along Stringfellow would affect their daily lives and activities, such as access to Greenbriar Park. "In some spots, it would restrict access to a right [turn] in, right [turn] out," he said. "So the location of median breaks is also important."
Knowing that several schools, homes, parks and a library are along this section of Stringfellow, VDOT has also met with school and Park Authority representatives about safety and logistical concerns. A formal public hearing on the project is slated for the winter of 2006-07.