If your commute includes driving the Fairfax County Parkway between Routes 29 and Routes 123 then you are familiar with the back ups at Popes Head Road, Braddock Road and Burke Center Parkway. Earlier this fall VDOT held three public information meetings to address this stretch of highway.
VDOT Fairfax County Northern Virginia District
- Purpose: To relieve congestion and improve safety
- Project Length: About 5 miles from Ox Road (Route 123) to just north of Lee Highway (Route 29)
- Improvements: Widen the Fairfax County Parkway from four to six lanes from Route 29 to Route 123, build an interchange at Popes Head Road and the future Shirley Gate Road Extension, reconfigure intersections along project limits, improvements to the existing trail in the Fairfax County right of way, and build a new shared-use path to make the trail continuous within the project limits
- Two Phases: 1) Popes Head Road and Shirley Gate Road Interchange, 2) Fairfax County Parkway Widening
- Estimated Project Cost: $194.6 million
These meetings were of particular concern to me as my street is in a small neighborhood that backs up to the stretch of highway in question. Like our neighborhood, many neighborhoods up and down the Fairfax County Parkway were cut in half or lost buffer area when the Parkway was built. As more and more traffic goes by, the noise level is louder and louder.
Our HOA president arranged a question and answer session with VDOT officials on November 27, 2018 to address some of our questions. At the meeting we learned there is a formula established by the Federal Highway Administration to determine whether or not a neighborhood can have a noise barrier wall. The VDOT’s Noise Abatement Policy is based on the Federal Highway Administration regulations. (Virginia Department of Transportation, VDOT Highway Noise Walls, VDOT Noise Barrier Walls, 2011, Commonwealth of Virginia, 5m November 2015, job#15156)
The good news is there are several neighborhoods that will qualify for the noise barrier walls up and down the corridor. You can find wonderful visuals showing where the proposed walls are located, what the new Popes Head Road interchange will look like, and examples of what the new medians (grass) will look like. Learn more at VDOT: http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/northernvirginia/ffx_co_pkwy_widening.asp.
In an email to our HOA President dated December 4, 2018, Sarabjit Sital, Program Management Coordinator for VDOT stated the following:
“Thank you for taking the time and attending the meeting on November 27th, 2018. As requested, attached is the presentation given at the meeting with the residents of Buckner’s Forest. Please distribute this with your HOA members.
“We would like to inform you that we are holding the Public Information meeting for this project on January 7th, 2019 at Robinson Secondary School from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. with presentation beginning @ 7 p.m. The inclement weather date is January 14th, 2019 at the same time and location.”
Mark your calendars if this project is of interest to you. If you would like a copy of this slide deck please contact Tracey Barrett
and I’ll forward to your attention [Fairfax County Parkway (Route 286) Widening Project Route 29 (Lee Highway) to Route 123 (Ox Road) State Project No. 0286-029-259, P101; UPC 107937 November 27, 2018 7:00 to 8:00 PM Meeting with Buckner Forest].