We have learned that VDOT will hold a public meeting on Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. at Great Falls Elementary School to discuss the project plan for the bridge on Beach Mill Road over Nichols Run. As you may recall, the original plan called for a 17-week project to begin in August 2013 and reopen in December 2013. Based on community input, VDOT now plans to begin construction in June 2013. Carol McGarry, Karen Collazo and Rachel Rothstein met with VDOT in August, and were informed that while the bridge is structurally sound, it is approximately 20 percent undersized for the two-year flood projections currently required by the VA Dept of Conservation and Recreation and therefore VDOT believes that the bridge must be replaced.
In addition, the Transportation Committee of Great Falls Citizens Association will meet at GFES directly after the meeting to discuss other traffic and road initiatives in Great Falls. We attended the last meeting and here is a sample of what was discussed:
- Trees on the corner of Walker Road and Georgetown Pike—the GFCA is trying to save the trees if they can be deemed safe. If the trees cannot be saved, the discussion centered on what could be placed at the corner to ensure that a right turn lane from Georgetown Pike (westbound) onto Walker Road is not considered.
- Walker Road bridge replacemen—the single lane bridge on Walker Road is to be replaced with a two lane bridge with walking paths (no exact timing for the project has been released).
- Lane reduction measures on Walker Road (Walker Road Diet)—The project is fully funded ($1.9m) and rights-of-way are being obtained. The project would reduce the current number of lanes from four lanes to two (with a shared right/left middle turn lane) on Walker Road between Columbine St. and Georgetown Pike.
- Future vision of Transportation Plan for Great Fall—Most of the discussion centered around how to slow/calm the traffic on Georgetown Pike, possibly through the use of traffic circles along Georgetown Pike.
- The Route 7 widening projec—how to convince VDOT to develop alternatives such as bus service throughout the corridor.
The GFCA tries to represent all of the citizens of Great Falls. If you are interested in hearing more about the GFCA’s transportation initiatives, plan to stay for the meeting.
We urge you to attend the VDOT meeting. It is important that VDOT understand how this issue impacts our community and we can only do that with a lot of people attending this meeting. If you have an HOA, please forward this message to all in your neighborhood.
Carol McGarry, Karen Collazo, Rachel Rothstein