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I-66 interchange at Route 28 (via Fairfax County)

I-66 will be complete closed to traffic in Centreville during overnight hours, starting at today (Friday).

Detours will redirect traffic at the Route 28 underpass, as construction continues on the Transform 66 Outside the Beltway project. Workers will continue bridge beam installation for new access ramps to rebuild the interchange, the Virginia Department of Transportation said in a news release.

All lanes will reopen by 6 a.m. on weekends and 5 a.m. on weekdays.

I-66 East lane closures

Workers will fully close eastbound lanes on the interstate tonight from 10:30 p.m. to 5 a.m., but the route will be partially open a half hour before as well as an hour after that timeframe.

I-66 East lane closures will also occur from 10 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday) to 6 a.m. on Sunday (May 1), and on Monday through Wednesday nights (May 2-4) from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Lane closures will vary, but drivers should expect stoppages most nights.

I-66 West lane closures

Westbound lanes will fully close from 11 p.m. on Saturday to 4:30 a.m. on Sunday as well as Monday through Wednesday nights. Partial closures will begin an hour before those times each night. The road will partially reopen between 4:30 a.m. to 5 a.m. on weekdays, or 6 a.m. on the weekend.

Detour to follow same path on Route 28

Both eastbound and westbound drivers on I-66 will head north on Route 28 then weave through the Westfields Boulevard interchange to circle back south on Route 28 back to the interstate.

There will be signage to direct traffic.

Photo via Fairfax County

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A project to widen the Herndon Parkway has taken away trees — to the dismay of some community members.

Crews with heavy machinery are still surrounding Haley M. Smith Park, located at the intersection with Van Buren Street, replacing a corridor of trees once along the parkway.

“I want to cry when I drive through that intersection,” one Herndon resident wrote last week on Nextdoor. “There had to be a better way.”

Work on the year-long project began last month. It will widen travel lanes to 11 feet, install on- and off-road bicycle lanes in each direction, and make other modifications intended to improve the overall pedestrian experience in the area.

There are no plans to replant the trees at this time, Herndon spokesperson Anne Curtis said in an email.

The Nextdoor commenter wasn’t the only one dissatisfied. Several people, including children, have noticed the change.

“It’s incredibly sad to see decades old trees taken down within hours,” another person wrote.

Others countered that the project will bring upgrades.

The $5.3 million project also calls for stormwater management improvements, utility relocations, and the addition of a turning lane, part of a broader effort to transform the area for the future opening of the Herndon Metro station.

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Morning Notes

Looking up at Tysons Central office building on an overcast day (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Saturday Morning Shooting in Herndon Under Investigation — “Officers are investigating a shooting in the 2100 block of Astoria Circle in Herndon. One person taken to the hospital with serious injuries. Suspect(s) believed to have left the area in a silver sedan.” [FCPD/Twitter]

New Route 123 to I-66 Ramp to Open Tomorrow — “The new permanent ramp from Route 123 (Chain Bridge Road) South to I-66 West is planned to open during the early morning hours on or about Tuesday, April 19. The current temporary left turn and connector ramp from Route 123 South to I-66 West will close as part of this work.” [VDOT]

Fight Leads to Stabbing Near Fairfax Circle — “Officers were called to the location for reports of a group of men fighting. When they arrived, the victim was found with a stab wound to the upper body. The victim was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. The victim’s condition was later upgraded, and the victim remained hospitalized. Preliminarily, this does not appear to be a random act.” [FCPD]

Seven Corners Alehouse to Close — “Dogfish Head Alehouse in Seven Corners is closing. Its last day is May 15. A message from the restaurant on social media says ‘Upon renewal of our lease, we were not able to come to terms with the property owner and as such our time has come to an end.'” [Annandale Today]

T-Mobile Might Be Coming to McNair — Multiple commercial real estate firms reported that telecom giant T-Mobile has signed a lease for almost 200,000 square feet at 2340 Dulles Corner Blvd. An update from one firm suggested the deal had not yet closed, but if accurate, it would be the largest first-quarter lease in Northern Virginia. [Washington Business Journal]

Walkability Still a Challenge in Tysons — “The area known to county planners as Tysons East…has seen significant investment over the past decade…But those areas are separated from each other and neighboring developments like the Tysons Corner Center Shopping Center and Tysons Galleria by major highways, limiting the suburb’s ability to truly feel like an urban center.” [Bisnow]

New Reston Fire Station Celebrated — “Thank you ⁦@ChiefJohnButler⁩ and @ffxfirerescue⁩ for a great grand opening of the new Reston Fire Station this morning (4/16) We appreciate all you do for our community!” [Walter Alcorn/Twitter]

FCPS Hires New HR Assistant Superintendent — “Superintendent Scott S. Brabrand has named Sherry Wilson, who currently serves as director of Human Resources in Chesapeake (Va.) Public Schools, to the role of assistant superintendent, Department of Human Resources, effective June 1, 2022.” [FCPS]

It’s Monday — Rain starting in the afternoon. High of 47 and low of 39. Sunrise at 6:29 am and sunset at 7:50 pm. [Weather.gov]

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The project is expected to finish in the summer of 2024 (via VDOT)

The widening of Route 7 is roughly 60% complete, remaining on schedule for completion by July 2024.

The $314 million project is expanding Route 7 from four to six lanes with significant updates at 19 intersections and shared-use paths along both sides of the road between Reston and Tysons. Other projects include replacing the bridge over Difficult Run.

A virtual meeting on the next phase of the project is planned for Tuesday (April 19) at 7 p.m. Virginia Department of Transportation representatives will be available to discuss the project and answer questions.

The next big ticket item is the construction of the new Lewinsville Road intersection, which is scheduled t0 open later this spring near Wolf Trap. The intersection includes a displaced left-turn lane from eastbound Route 7 to Lewinsville Road.

VDOT plans to temporarily configure the intersection in May, according to VDOT spokesperson Kathleen Leonard.

“Lewinsville Road will be realigned to an intersection with Route 7 across from the east entrance to McLean Bible Church,” Leonard told FFXnow. “Traffic signals at the east and west entrances to McLean Bible Church will be coordinated to maximize throughput at this busy intersection and the final configuration is expected to be completed later this fall.”

A displaced left-turn lane allows left-turn vehicles to cross to the other side of opposing through-traffic before the main intersection. An online simulation of the changes is available online.

The project is expected to clear a major milestone this fall, when three lanes of traffic in each direction open along nearly two miles of Route 7 between Reston Avenue and Riva Ridge Drive.

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A new turn lane and traffic signal will direct drivers from Nutley Street to I-66 West (via VDOT)

Updated at 1:15 p.m.Work on the temporary Nutley Street ramp to I-66 West has been delayed. It will now be conducted overnight from Wednesday into Thursday (April 13-14), VDOT says.

Drivers who use Nutley Street near the Vienna Metro station will need to adjust to yet another new traffic pattern, starting tomorrow (Wednesday).

A new, temporary ramp to I-66 West is expected to open, bringing with it new turn lanes and a new traffic signal for both northbound and southbound drivers.

“This temporary traffic change is anticipated to be in place through July 2022 while construction of the redesigned Nutley Street and I-66 Interchange continues as part of the Transform 66 Outside the Beltway Project,” Virginia Department of Transportation said in a news release on Friday (April 8).

The shift will require multiple overnight ramp closures tonight (Tuesday) into early tomorrow morning:

Ramp from Nutley Street North to I-66 West

  • The ramp will be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
  • Traffic will be directed to continue north, stay to the left and make a U-turn from the left-most left turn lane at the traffic signal at Virginia Center Boulevard onto southbound Nutley Street, then follow signs to I-66 West.

Ramps from I-66 West to Nutley Street North and South

  • The ramp will be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
  • Traffic will be directed farther west to the exit to Vienna/Fairfax/GMU Station, stay to the right onto Country Creek Road, continue onto Virginia Center Boulevard, then at the traffic signal turn left to northbound Nutley Street or turn right to southbound Nutley Street.

In addition, the right lane on Nutley Street North and South will be closed from 9 p.m. tonight to 5 a.m. tomorrow between Virginia Center Boulevard and Saintsbury Drive.

The construction work is weather-dependent and could be rescheduled if there’s rain or other inclement conditions.

With the current ramps from Nutley Street to I-66 West closing, here’s how traffic will function with the new temporary ramp, per VDOT:

  • From southbound Nutley Street, drivers will access I-66 West by turning left at the traffic signal onto a new ramp that will merge into the current loop ramp from northbound Nutley Street to I-66 West.
  • From northbound Nutley Street, drivers will access I-66 West by continuing a short distance beyond the current entrance to the loop ramp to I-66 West, then turning right at the traffic signal to reach the loop ramp.
  • Drivers traveling from northbound Nutley Street to westbound I-66 should be alert for southbound Nutley Street traffic merging onto the ramp from the left.
  • Two travel lanes will continue on north- and southbound Nutley Street through the interchange.

Commuters will see a payoff from the frequently changing traffic patterns later this year, when the new Nutley Street interchange is expected to open, along with the new I-66 Express Lanes, which are being extended from I-495 in Dunn Loring to Gainesville.

“When construction is complete, the new Nutley Street Interchange will feature two roundabouts, which will provide safer and more efficient travel for vehicles entering and exiting I-66, and improve safety for vehicles and pedestrians traveling on Nutley Street,” VDOT said.

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Accessing the 200-year-old mill may become more difficult (via Fairfax County Government)

Accessing the Colvin Run Mill Historic Site may require a legendary feat until June.

As the widening of Route 7 continues, construction has started to impede easy access to the historic site, which is located at 10017 Colvin Run Road in Great Falls.

Traffic from Colvin Run Mill will turn right and continue to the east end of Colvin Run Road to access Route 7 from the east and west.

The traffic pattern change comes as crews complete utility work and other construction at the western portion of Colvin Run Road, according to a March 30 release from the county.

Site manager Julie Gurnee said signage will provide guidance for visitors.

“Coming from the west, all visitors are able to turn onto Colvin Run Road at the first entrance (Delta Glen) to enter; but to exit to Route 7, visitors will all turn right out of the site to turn onto Route 7 at the Carpers Farm/Route 7 intersection,” Gurnee said.

Here’s more from the county on the traffic changes:

Drivers entering the mill on Route 7 westbound will still be able to turn left on to Colvin Run Road at the Route 7/Delta Glen Court/Colvin Run Road intersection (west end of Colvin Run Road). Drivers entering the mill on Route 7 eastbound will still be able to turn right on Colvin Run Road at the Route 7/Carpers Farm/Colvin Run Road intersection.

The site offers classes, tours, and a general store that sells local tea blends, yellow grits, cornmeal, wheat flour and buckwheat. All grains are ground at the 200-year-old working mill. It is surrounded by trails and other outdoor amenities.

Traffic changes have routinely come up, as crews continue widening seven miles of Route 7 between Reston Avenue and Jarrett Valley Drive. Shared-use paths and several infrastructure improvements are also planned along the corridor.

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View of the Route 123 and I-66 interchange on March 2, 2022 (via VDOT)

Drivers going from Route 123 to I-66 will finally get to see the outcome of construction crews’ work.

An on-ramp to I-66 East from southbound Chain Bridge Road in Oakton is slated to open during the day tomorrow (Tuesday).

That means drivers will no longer have to use the temporary traffic pattern involving a left-hand turn at a traffic signal to go eastbound on the interstate.

To complete the connection, crews will have to close a right lane on Route 123 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The work could be rescheduled based on the weather, though.

Another permanent loop opened Nov. 2, allowing northbound Chain Bridge Road traffic to go west.

The new ramps are part of the Transform 66 project, which will extend the I-66 Express Lanes from I-495 in Dunn Loring to Gainesville. The project is also adding a new trail and transit amenities to the corridor.

The new lanes are slated to open this December.

A map shows a new permanent loop ramp from southbound Chain Bridge Road to I-66 East (via VDOT)
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Major updates are planned at the intersection of Van Buren Street and Herndon Parkway (via Town of Herndon)

Travel on Van Buren Street will soon become much smoother for Herndon residents and other commuters.

The Town of Herndon will break ground tomorrow (Friday) on a major project to update the intersection at Van Buren Street and Herndon Parkway.

The overall project is expected to cost roughly $5.3 million, according to town documents. It will widen travel lanes to 11 feet, install on- and off-road bicycle lanes in each direction, and improve the overall pedestrian experience in the area.

“This project provides for significant transportation improvements in order to relieve congestion and improve safety,” according to the town.

The project is expected to relieve significant congestion in the area and improve safety at the Herndon Parkway intersection with Van Buren Street– an intersection that connects two urban pathway and provides access to redevelopment areas of Herndon’s transit oriented core and the future Herndon Metrorail Station.

All overhead utility lines will be located as part of the project and pedestrian crosswalks will be updated with ADA signals.

The town also plans to add a turn lan for northbound Van Buren Street at Herndon Parkway and crosswalks and a signal at Alabama Drive, along with five-foot-wide sidewalks with streetlights.

The groundbreaking ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. tomorrow in Haley Smith Park.

The Virginia-based company A&M Concrete Corporation was awarded the contract in late January. Construction is expected to wrap up in the spring of 2023.

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The reconstruction of the intersection of Elden and Monroe streets is nearly complete (via Town of Herndon)

Major updates to the intersection of Elden Street and Monroe Street have neared substantial completion.

At a Herndon Town Council meeting last night (Tuesday), Town Manager Bill Ashton said the project is mostly complete. Signals have been installed and are expected to be fully functional in the coming days.

The project, which started late last year, reconstructs the intersection and includes a new traffic signal, brick crosswalks with ADA-compliant curb ramps, brick sidewalks, and an updated curb return in the southeast quadrant of the intersection.

Concrete-encased conduits for Cox, Verizon, and Dominion Power are also planned on the site.

“We are hopeful that in the coming weeks we’re able to complete that project in earnest,” Ashton said.

The project has changed traffic flows for several months in the area, particularly in front of Anita’s. Once the traffic signal goes live, much of the “ugly hardware” in the area will be removed, according to Ashton.

Ashburn Construction Corporation beat out one other bidder last spring to win the $1.1 million contract for the project.

The project is expected to officially close out by the summer.

Streetscape improvements to Elden Street — running in front of Aslin Beer Co. — are also nearly complete, Ashton said.

A sanitary sewer installation has also been added in front of Aslin in order to support Comstock’s anticipated redevelopment of downtown Herndon.

Comstock plans to ensure the infrastructure was installed properly. The company anticipates breaking ground this spring on the mixed-use project.

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A groundbreaking ceremony today (Monday) marked the beginning of construction on the much-debated I-495 Northern Extension project to build express lanes on a notoriously congested stretch of the Capital Beltway.

The $660 million 495 NEXT project will create two northbound and two southbound lanes between the Dulles Toll Road in Tysons and the Potomac River north of McLean, adding 2.5 miles onto the existing I-495 Express Lanes operated by the toll road company Transurban.

“Today, we’re kicking off the start of construction on this important initiative that will provide much-needed congestion relief and improve travel on this vital corridor in Virginia,” Virginia Department of Transportation Commissioner Stephen Brich said at the event, held at The Perch on top of Capital One Hall in Tysons.

VDOT began preliminary site work in the affected area of I-495 late last year. The project is part of an agreement with Maryland to expand the Beltway with express lanes and rebuild the American Legion Memorial Bridge.

Local opposition and legal challenges have held up Maryland’s toll lanes project, leading to some anxiety from Fairfax County officials, but Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin said today that he is working with Gov. Larry Hogan to ensure Maryland completes its portion of the so-called Beltway Accord.

A Great Falls resident, Youngkin said he spent considerable time in traffic, waiting to get somewhere. He told media after the event how he’s seen worsening regional congestion over the years.

“One day, we will see…this stretch of the Beltway move in an extraordinary way: No more backups on the GW Parkway in the afternoon at 5 o’clock, people getting home to see their families,” Youngkin said.

In addition to extending the express lanes, 495 NEXT includes bridge upgrades as well as new bike and pedestrian connections. It will also pave the way for planned bus service between Tysons and suburban Maryland.

As Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay noted, there currently aren’t any public buses that cross the American Legion Bridge.

The Commonwealth is providing $5.2 million to launch the bus service, and Transurban has agreed to contribute $2.2 million annually. An estimated 170,000 people are expected to use it each year.

The Beltway improvements are projected to reduce traffic crashes by 20% and reduce commuting times in express lanes during rush-hour traffic by 50%, officials said.

The new express lanes are slated to open in 2025.

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