Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Spring 2018 Status of U.S. 1 Improvements

This morning, the "U.S. 1 Delegation" consisting of myself, Senator Ebbin, and Delegates Krizek and Sickles met with the project team with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and the Fairfax County Department of Transportation to talk about the status of the U.S. 1 widening and bus rapid transit in anticipation of our next public hearing.

First, Fairfax County's process to implement the state-funded U.S. 1 Multimodal Alternative Analysis Study will come to a conclusion when the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will vote to approve the Comprehensive Plan changes developed as part of the EMBARK Richmond Highway Process on March 20, 2018.  This plan will lay the groundwork for the next thirty years in our community.  You can get more information here:

The County is in the process of developing its application for federal transit funding under the New Starts Program to fund approximately fifty-percent of the cost of bus rapid transit (BRT) from Huntington Metro to Fort Belvoir.

"U.S. 1 Delegation" Meeting with VDOT & FCDOT Including
Senators Surovell & Ebbin and Delegates Krizek & Sickles
VDOT and the County are finalizing the roadway design and including intersection designs at both ends of Buckman Road and Sacramento Drive.  Those designs will be revealed at a public hearing on April 4, 2018.

VDOT has also determined locations for possible storm water mitigation sites and will present a map showing those locations.

The current timeline calls for required final approval by the Federal Highway Administration in Late 2018, Right of Way Acquisition taking place from mid-2019 through 2021, Utility Relocation from 2020-2022, and construction from 2023 through the end of 2025.

Although utility undergrounding is typically a local government function, I am working with Delegates Paul Krizek and Mark Sickles, and Senator Adam Ebbin on securing approximately 60-70% of all funds to underground all utilities on U.S. 1 for this project from alternate sources, but we do not have a final commitment yet. 

Any remaining funds will need to come from Fairfax County's local funds.  I also passed legislation this session opening up three additional funding streams for the County to use to fund undergrounded utilities.  The County still has not committed to any contribution to utility undergrounding costs, but we are continuing to talk.

We have secured $44 million of funding so far, but funding for the balance of the U.S. 1 widening is still about $170.8 million short.  We are hoping to obtain funding from the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) and the balance from the Commonwealth's statewide transportation funds made possible by the 2013 state transportation tax increase.  The BRT is on a separate funding track and will be funded by the Federal, State and probably local government.

VDOT is also planning on an online interactive GIS application to better help residents navigate the future improvements.  Fairfax County has a similar application for the EMBARK process which is very cool.

VDOT considered all of the comments that my constituents provided and more specifically, is still looking into options for creating some kind of cycling/pedestrian trail under U.S. 1 at Little Hunting Creek and at trash and litter mitigation measures at the water crossings.  VDOT is currently planning on the speed limit remaining at 45 M.P.H.

The public can get full information at the public hearing which will be:

U.S. 1 Widening Public Hearing
Wednesday, April 4, 2018
Location: TBD

In the meantime, let me know if you have any feedback!

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