Soon bicyclists in Tysons Corner will have a bridge over the Beltway connecting the McLean neighborhoods of the Dolly Madison Apartments and the Regency of McLean to the shopping area with the Virginia Department of Transportation’s “Tysons/Old Meadow Road Bike/Ped Improvements” project.
Steve Ward of the Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling knows that any biking improvement through Tysons Corner is a plus. He’s been through Tysons on his way to his office at the Pentagon, and recently changed routes to avoid it.
“Commuting in Tysons is a challenge. It is hilly and traffic is bad and drivers there are notorious scofflaws regarding speeding, turn lanes, signals, and parking,” he said.
The new access route is a link for the neighborhoods inside the Beltway, and this will help with the congestion, Ward says.
There are new multi-story residences being added along and around Rt. 123 at the McLean Metro, and without the trail, all of these people would have to drive to get to Tysons I, Ward noticed. "With the trail, they will now have the option to take a relatively short bike ride or walk," he said.
The project is being built in two phases, VDOT said. Phase I will include the bridge over I-495, past the Regency at McLean, and link to Holly Ridge Drive. Then Phase II will go northeast, along Old Meadow Road back towards Route 123.
The bridge over the Beltway will require beams to be hung over I-495, which will be done in the overnight hours and will require multiple lane closures for a certain period of time. Drivers will be notified ahead of time through the VDOT outreach program, VMS boards and overhead digital signs.
The pricetag for the whole project is $13.4 million and it is financed with federal, state and local funding. Phase I is scheduled to be completed in 2022, VDOT said, and the phase II work will be scheduled when funding becomes available.