Virginia counties suggest projects under transportation bill

Of the $4 billion approved under the transportation bill, $1.5 billion will be coming to Northern Virginia. Photo: Epsosde via Flickr

Now that the Virginia Transportation Bill has been signed, every county has a wish list of projects it would like to see get done, but as always, that costs money and takes a lot of time.

Of the $4 billion approved under the transportation bill, $1.5 billion will be coming to Northern Virginia, and the requests are not just for roads and bridges. At Potomac Yard, the city wants $2 million for an environmental impact study for future projects. When it comes to where to spend that money, everyone has a wish list.

In Fairfax County, a big wish on that list is for $20 million to fix the interchange design at the Franconia South Van Dorn area off I-95.

“Anything they could do to help would be an improvement,” says Debbie Hart.

Hart commutes through the area every day and looks forward to the day when the drive makes a little more sense.

“The lanes are difficult and people are always swerving because they see the entrance to I-95 and it gets confusing,” says Hart.

“Everywhere is congested, but I don’t think that’s as bad as some other places,” says Karen Whitaker of Alexandria.

The transit fixes are also in demand in Fairfax, as in other places, including a $9 million request to extend the platform at the VRE station in Lorton.

Fairfax also wants to widen Route 28 from the Dulles Toll Road all the way to Prince William County, where Prince William would like the widening to continue in their area.

“It needs to be widened, absolutely,” says Katheryn Baker.

Baker is all for the project, as long as the hassle of construction delivers results.

“It would have to make a tremendous difference,” she says. “I mean, look how wide it is now and it’s bumper in all the lanes.”

To the east in Prince William County, the county wants to widen the very busy stretch of Route 1 near Occoquan.

Arlington wants $12 million for street improvements, a forward-looking idea in an attractive part of down, according to some.

“I think we need to improve Columbia Pike and make it look better,” says Jacolyn Jackson of Arlington. “It’s definitely a growth area.”

“It’s not like it’s trash out there in the first place, so I don’t know what more improvement you can do,” says one store owner.

Of course there are more requests than there is money, so not all projects will be approved. But the Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance is already reviewing a big list of requests and will likely approve the first round of projects next month.