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Fairfax County seeks millions in grant funds for pedestrian improvement projects

Fairfax County is seeking funds for a project to add crosswalks and a signal on Burke Lake Road at the Lake Braddock Secondary School entrance (via Google Maps)

Fairfax County is making another push to fund pedestrian safety improvements at Shrevewood Elementary School in Idylwood.

The long-gestating crosswalks project is one of five that the Fairfax County Department of Transportation intends to submit to the state for funding consideration under the federal Transportation Alternatives grant program.

“This program invests in community-based projects that expand non-motorized travel choices and enhance the transportation experience by improving the cultural, historical and environmental aspect of the transportation infrastructure,” FCDOT said in a press release last week.

For fiscal year 2025, which starts July 1, 2024, the department will request a total of $9.2 million to fill walkway gaps to the Mason Neck Trail in Lorton, add a shared-use path on Compton Road in Centreville, and support three Safe Routes to Schools projects — a program that encourages students to walk and bike to school.

Shrevewood Elementary School — Safe Routes to School

  • Total estimated cost: $2.99 million
  • Grant request: $1.14 million

Part of a larger effort to improve safety in the Shreve Road corridor after a fatal crash in 2019, this project will add marked crosswalks at Fairwood Lane, the school’s eastern driveway and across Virginia Lane at Virginia Avenue. The Fairwood Lane crosswalk will include a pedestrian refuge island.

FCDOT says the crosswalks “will provide neighborhood access to school amenities” and the nearby Washington & Old Dominion Trail.

Bush Hill Elementary School — Safe Routes to School

  • Total estimated cost: $3.66 million
  • Grant request: $1.86 million

Approximately 850 feet of sidewalk will be added on Bush Hill Drive between Ninian Avenue and Larno Avenue in Rose Hill.

“Completing this missing sidewalk link will improve safety and accessibility for children walking and bicycling to school,” FCDOT said.

Lake Braddock Secondary School — Safe Routes to School

  • Total estimated cost: $2.55 million
  • Grant request: $2.04 million

Crosswalks and a pedestrian signal will be constructed at the school’s entrance on Burke Lake Road. The project will also reconstruct a sidewalk on the road’s south side to be 6 feet wide and bring six ramps up to ADA standards.

Mason Neck Trail

  • Total estimated cost: $13.96 million
  • Grant request: $1.7 million

The project will build missing pieces of the walkway along Gunston Road from Richmond Highway (Route 1) to the existing trail.

Compton Road Walkway

  • Total estimated cost: $9.3 million
  • Grant request: $2.5 million

Approximately 550 feet of a 10-foot-wide, paved shared use path will be added on the east side of Compton Road, connecting the Cub Run Stream Valley Trail with an existing path crossing to the Bull Run Regional Events Center’s entrance.

The project will also widen a bridge over Cub Run to accommodate the shared use path.

FCDOT Communications Specialist Lynn Krolowitz noted that the grant request amounts could be revised if the project cost estimates changed before the applications are finalized in October.

“FCDOT select projects based on several factors such as program eligibility criteria and project readiness requirements, the need of continued funding for existing projects, and previous Board approval/consideration, which assumes some level of public involvement,” Krolowitz said in an email to FFXnow.

To be eligible for Transportation Alternatives grants, projects must have already gotten public feedback, be ready for design, require less than four years of construction, have a “logical” endpoint — such as an existing sidewalk or a road intersection — and be beneficial even if no other improvements are made in the area, according to FCDOT.

Three of the projects under consideration in this round, including the Shrevewood project, have previously gotten the grants, giving them priority in the selection process, Krolowtiz says.

FCDOT will host a virtual public input meeting to discuss the proposed projects at 6 p.m. tomorrow (Wednesday).

Image via Google Maps