It’s been a long time coming but, on Monday, Dec. 15, Stringfellow Road became four lanes all the way from Route 50 in Chantilly to Route 29 in Centreville. And the newly widened section opened to drivers six months ahead of schedule.
Heavily congested during rush hours, Stringfellow already carries 23,000 vehicles a day and is expected to increase to 33,000 in 2034. The portion of the road between I-66 and Route 29 was four-laned in the 1990s by Fairfax County’s Department of Transportation. Now, the section from I-66/Fair Lakes Boulevard to Route 50 has also been widened from two to four lanes.
Comprising the $63 million project are four travel lanes — two, 12 feet wide, and two, 14 feet wide; a 10-foot multipurpose trail, a 6-foot sidewalk and a raised, 16-foot, grass median. And bicyclists will not only share the trail with pedestrians, but also pedal side-by-side with cars, trucks and buses on each outer, 14-foot lane.
Phase one began in October 2010 and was focused on moving major utilities. The work proved to be a more-extensive and time-consuming undertaking than was initially anticipated. As a result, the actual road construction didn’t begin until spring 2013.
Since then, motorists have had to endure lane shifts and closures plus traffic delays. But for the most part, Stringfellow remained open to drivers. Since it’s the entryway to four elementary schools, a middle school and a high school, a regional library, two parks, several athletic fields, churches, shopping centers and highly populated residential areas. it would have been nearly impossible to shut it down altogether.
On Friday, workmen shifted northbound traffic from the existing lane to the two new lanes. Then during the weekend, crews completed extensive paving at the north end of Stringfellow from Route 50 to Jasper Road, as well as striping and signal work at all of Stringfellow’s seven intersections. All turn lanes and permanent signals are now in place, and the partially closed ramp from Fair Lakes Parkway to northbound Stringfellow has reopened.
Over the next few months, drivers may encounter minor lane closures for median work and punch-list items. But the final surface paving and striping can’t be done until warmer temperatures arrive in the spring. The project is slated to be finished by July 2015.