Eventually, the pandemic will subside and rush-hour traffic – with all its headaches and frustration – will resume on Route 28 in Centreville. But a plan is en route to widen this major highway in Fairfax County and thereby relieve both local and commuter traffic.
Toward that end, the Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) recently held an online meeting to update the public about the project. Participants included FCDOT Director Tom Biesiadny; Jim Beall, Section Chief of FCDOT’s Transportation Design Division; Joe Fragale, with Shirley Contracting Co., the project’s design/build contractor; and county Supervisors Kathy Smith (D-Sully) and Pat Herrity (R-Springfield).
Pleased to hear that things are moving along well with the Route 28 widening, Herrity said, “This is a much-needed project that will bring us much-needed relief.”
UNDER THE PLAN, Route 28 will be widened from four lanes to six, for about 2.3 miles, from the bridge over Bull Run at the Prince William/Fairfax County line to the Routes 28/29 Interchange in Centreville. Besides adding more through lanes to Route 28, the project will provide additional lanes on side streets to improve traffic flow.
It will improve intersection operations, as well, by upgrading existing traffic signals and improving bicycle and pedestrian crossings. In addition, new, 10-foot-wide, shared-use paths will be created on both sides of Route 28.
This is a county project being done in cooperation with VDOT and the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA). To get it accomplished as quickly as possible, it’s being done via a design-build process. This method allows for more-rapid progress by combining and overlapping the design, right-of-way, utility and construction phases. As a result, many of the tasks are done concurrently, rather than one after another.
The $88.35 million road widening is fully funded, with the majority of the money coming from NVTA Regional Funds and State SmartScale Funds, as well as local dollars. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has already endorsed the design plans.
Northbound Route 28 will be widened on the outside; and on southbound Route 28, the center line will be shifted over 5 feet so a future lane could go in the middle. The curves north of Compton Road and south of New Braddock Road will be improved for better sight distance, and Bradenton Drive will remain unsignalized,
Due to lack of funding to do more, Route 28 will just be widened to six lanes, but it’s being designed for eight lanes in the future. And noise and environmental-impact analyses are both being based on eight lanes existing in 2040 at the loudest hour of the day.
IMPROVEMENTS will be made at all signalized intersections by adding turn lanes and/or one or more additional lanes on side streets. Doing so eliminates split-phase, signal operations and improves overall intersection operations. Proposed are:
Dual left-turn lanes on northbound Route 28 at New Braddock Road;
Dual left-turn lanes on northbound Route 28 at Machen Road;
Triple left turns from westbound New Braddock to southbound Route 28;
Adding one lane on both westbound and eastbound Compton Road, eastbound Old Mill Road and westbound Old Centreville Road (at the north end of the project).
In addition, median crossovers at Darkwood Drive and south of Compton Road will both be removed. There’ll be some right-of-way impacts on various parcels, but the land acquisition will be done for a road with all eight lanes, so it won’t have to be done again later.
Initially, four design options were proposed for the intersection of Ordway, Compton and Old Centreville roads. But because of budgetary constraints, Ordway’s alignment will remain the same, with just the new lanes being added.
“We’ve eliminated the stormwater-management pond at New Braddock,” said Fragale. “[Instead], the property south of Ordway will be used for a stormwater-management pond, and there’ll also be one northwest of the Bradenton/Route 28 intersection.”
At the southern end of the project, work will begin at the Prince William County line and progress to Green Trails Boulevard/Old Mill Road in Centreville. At the same time, work will also start at Green Trails/Old Mill and continue northward.to the Route 29 Interchange.
Since this project contains federal money, a proposal for noise mitigation is required for neighborhoods where the projected noise levels will exceed established criteria. But the residents must declare, in writing, that they want noise walls.
Potential noise barriers are currently being evaluated. One is for the east side of Route 28, between New Braddock Road and Darkwood Drive; the other is for the west side of Route 28, north of Compton Road.
Permanent roadway widening is slated to begin this spring and summer. Night work during construction is likely, but there’ll be no lane closures during peak travel hours. Substantial road construction is expected to be finished by spring 2023, with final completion set for that summer.