Fairfax County awarded more than $335 million for transportation projects

Traffic fills the Richmond Highway (via Fairfax County)

The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) has awarded nearly $341 million to seven major transportation projects in Fairfax County.

Approved on Thursday (July 14), the NVTA gave out about $630 million to 20 projects across the region with its latest six-year program. More than half the money went to projects in Fairfax County.

“The NVTA takes a multimodal approach to providing transportation solutions and options that keep Northern Virginia and beyond moving, recognizing there is no one-size-fits-all solution to tackling traffic congestion in the Washington, D.C. region,” NVTA chair and Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chair Phyllis Randall said in a statement. “The 20 projects the NVTA has just adopted are no exception.”

NVTA committed to funding six county projects and one project from the Town of Herndon:

“We regularly talk about our goal in Fairfax County to ‘move people’ no matter how they choose or need to travel. I could not be more pleased with this investment in our community,” Board of Supervisors Chair Jeff McKay wrote in a statement. “Fairfax County is the economic engine of the Commonwealth, and our infrastructure is at the core of this tremendous progress.”

The Fairfax County Parkway funding will widen 2.5 miles of the road between Nomes Court and Route 123 (Ox Road) in Fairfax Station as part of a larger project. No timeline is being given yet for when construction might start or be completed, according to the project page.

Fairfax Connector will acquire eight electric buses to initially serve four routes between Tysons and Franconia, potentially starting by the end of this year.

The combined $140 million for the two Richmond Highway projects will widen a three-mile stretch of the corridor from four to six lanes, among other improvements, and support The One, a dedicated bus service.

According to the Virginia Department of Transportation, construction on the widening could begin “as early as 2025” and take three to four years to complete.

The bus rapid transit service expected to serve up to 15,000 passengers a day with nine stations by the time it’s completed in 2030. All in all, both projects are expected to cost a billion dollars in total.

In the Reston and Herndon area, the Soapstone Drive connector could begin construction in 2027, according to a March 2022 presentation.

The Town of Herndon’s Worldgate Drive extension will add a new signal and a dedicated turning lane. The project is intended to improve access to the new Herndon Metro station, which is expected to hopefully open this fall with the rest of the Silver Line’s second phase.

While the county’s planned ring road around Seven Corners will get some funding, it’s only a fraction of the nearly $95 million requested.

“FX-125 (Seven Corners Ring Road) is a new project to NVTA, and insufficient funds were available to fully meet the funding request ($94.8M),” an NVTA spokesperson wrote to FFXnow. “The approved partial funding amount ($4.2M) is sufficient to fund the project’s preliminary engineering phase so this will at least enable the project to advance.”

A request for $145 million for the Frontier Drive extension also wasn’t approved. The extension is set to add a divided four-lane road, along with a number of improvements to the Franconia-Springfield Metro.

The NVTA spokesperson said the project wasn’t funded in part because $27 million had already been approved in two previous funding cycles, but the majority of that money hasn’t been spent yet.

In total, 26 regional projects were submitted, with 20 selected for funding. The selection process was “competitive” and “data driven” based on “quantitative and qualitative factors” as well as public comments, the NVTA spokesperson told FFXnow.

Photo via Fairfax County