The intersection at Lorton Road and Silverbrook Road sees increased traffic with I-95 close by.
Photo by Mike Salmon.
Mount Vernon District Supervisor Dan Storck has the intersection at Lorton Road and Silverbrook Road in the crosshairs for some design changes to improve the flow of traffic.
At the Lorton Road-Silverbrook Road Intersection Improvements meeting on Dec. 12, the Fairfax County Department of Transportation highlighted four options and gathered input for a future project.
“For this community around here, it is a big deal,” he said. “As it’s gotten busier, the turn lanes have gotten more crowded,” Storck said.
At the meeting, Dale Johnson, a South County Federation member, has seen the results of back-ups that occur at the intersection. When a car gets in the thru-lane, it cuts over to turn on Silverbook at the last minute, posing a safety hazard.
“That’s the road rage issue,” Johnson said.
According to the Fairfax County Department of Transportation, “the study identifies intersection improvements that enhance the intersection operations and increase capacity, specifically through Silverbrook Road’s southbound left-turn movement and Lorton Road’s westbound right-turn movement. In addition, the goal of the study is to address any safety or operational deficiencies found through the existing conditions analysis, and address any other modes of transportation needs,” the project description read.
The idea to look at this intersection was first brought up in 2012, when the county looked at the traffic on Lorton Road. “This kind of opened the door for this study,” said Ryan Knight, a FCDOT traffic engineer. The options include adding a turn lane from Lorton Road to Silverbrook Road, overlapping the signal pattern, adding a median island with a freeflow lane, and implementing dual right turn lanes.
Through analysis and traffic counts, Alternative 4 seemed to get the best score. This alternative is currently priced at $1.2 million and would involve dual turn lanes from Lorton Road to Silverbrook, and three left turn lanes from Silverbrook Road to Lorton Road, which goes to I-95.
The “no build” option was also part of the study. “If we don’t do anything, the intersection will be an LOS F,” said Knight. LOS is Level of Service and F is the lowest grade.
Although the increased traffic through this intersection can’t be attributed to a new development or apartment complex, one of the attendees said it was due to the cut-through traffic using Lorton Road to Route 123 going to Prince William County.
Knight was looking at the bigger picture. “We’re trying to fix a problem that’s a network problem,” he said.
“This is all before Amazon,” one audience member joked.
The study will be done in 2019, but beyond that, there is no funding or start date in place. “We don’t have that at this point,” said Knight.
The deadline for comments on this project is Jan. 9, 2019.