Construction on a new walkway along Sunrise Valley Drive in Reston is set to begin in the winter of 2024.
At a meeting before Reston Association’s Design Review Board on Tuesday (Oct. 18), Fairfax County transportation planners said the project would provide much-needed pedestrian enhancements from Reston Parkway to Soapstone Drive.
The project will also provide a critical connection from the future Reston Town Center Metro station to adjacent neighborhoods, according to Sonia Shahnaj, a project manager for the Fairfax County Department of Transportation.
Construction of a 10-foot-wide walkway is planned, filling in missing segments along the north side of Sunrise Valley Drive.
In response to questions from DRB members on landscaping and tree preservation, Shahnaj noted that the presence of many utilities makes landscaping very challenging. FCDOT plans to remove eight trees throughout the entire project — including one that is nearly dead, she said.
“We are trying to save the existing trees, but there’s not enough buffer,” she said.
The project will add illumination on Sunrise Valley and Colts Neck Road, along with an 8-foot-wide refuge island at Indian Ridge Road, ADA curb ramps and bus stop improvements. A new bus shelter and loading pad are also planned.
Indian Ridge would get a 10-foot-wide asphalt walkway, in addition to the removal of a westbound turn lane to a driveway entrance.
A shoebox-style fixture is planned at Colts Neck Road. Crosswalks are planned at the intersection of Reston Parkway and Colts Neck, at commercial driveway entrances, and at the Sheraton Reston Hotel entrance.
DRB member Brian Cutler encouraged the county to look into installing a flashing light system for pedestrians at Indian Ridge.
“Cars are coming down that hill really fast,” Cutler said, referring to the west side of Sunrise Valley.
Shahnaj said the county explored the possibility of flashing beacon lights, but pedestrian traffic in that area does not warrant the addition, based on state guidelines.
“I’m not sure it’s warranted at this location,” she said, adding that the county is open to examining other pedestrian safety measures in that area.
Design plans will be finalized this November. Initial land acquisition is slated for the winter, with utility relocation and the beginning construction expected to begin the winter of next year.
Construction will likely be finished in the fall of 2025.
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