Transportation in the Kingstowne Area! 

To keep up with the latest developments at the Springfield Interchange">

  Transportation in the Kingstowne Area! 

To keep up with the latest developments at the Springfield Interchange">

  Transportation in the Kingstowne Area! 

To keep up with the latest developments at the Springfield Interchange">

  Transportation in the Kingstowne Area! 

To keep up with the latest developments at the Springfield Interchange, include road and lane closures, please click on: http://www.springfieldinterchange.com/du.htm

To see about transportation policy alternatives, go to: http://endgridlock.policy.net/

To see a listing of transportation links for Northern Virginia, go to: http://www.co.fairfax.va.us/comm/trans/Direct.htm

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Transportation News

 

  • (8/4/2006) News Channel 8 reports on Senator George Allen has requested $2 million in federal money to study traffic impact around Fort Belvoir as the Army plans to move 22,000 employees there.

          NewsChannel 8 - Allen Asks for Federal Money for Ft. Belvoir Traffic Study

        Local Road Projects Delayed (washingtonpost.com)

  • (8/12/2004) The Potomac News Post reports on local officials vision of developments along Route 1:

        Potomac News Online | Planners envision U.S. 1

  The Springfield Times - Belauh Widening Nears Completion

  • (12/19/2002) The Springfield Times has a report on the progress of the Mixing Bowl project:

            The Springfield Times - Mixing Bowl Near Midpoint

  • (11/14/2002) The Springfield Times has a report on how the VRE is dealing with the rejection of the transportation sales tax initiative in its attempts to expand:

            The Springfield Times - VRE Officials Explore Options

  • (7/28/2002) The Washington Post reports on the Fairfax Board of Supervisors rejecting another Beltway widening plan:

            Supervisors Protest Plans To Add Lanes to Beltway (washingtonpost.com)

  • (7/28/2002) The Daily Journal reports on proposals to improve three local roads:

            The Journal Newspapers Online

  • (7/13/2002) An interesting article on why road projects have cost overruns:

    The Journal Newspapers Online

     
  • (6/30/2002) Some possible good news about local road projects being put back on track:

Arcom Publishing Inc. - Chantilly/Centreville Times

  • (6/30/2002) Some discussion of the proposal to widen the Beltway:

          Arcom Publishing Inc. - Chantilly/Centreville Times

 

  • (6/2/2002) Attention, all DoD sticker holders, good news about a new gate opening at Fort Belvoir:

    Fort Belvoir to open new gate Monday - Potomac News Online

  • (4/30/2002) The Washington Post has the following article about some of the challenges ahead for VDOT which can affect the future of the Mixing Bowl project.

Stepping Into a Risky Crossroads (washingtonpost.com)

Arcom Publishing Inc. - Fairfax/Fairfax Station/Burke/Springfield/Annandale Times

  • The Washington Post has the following article about changes at the entrances at Ft. Belvoir which will affect traffic on Route 1 and other local roads:

Region's Army Posts To Restrict Public Access (washingtonpost.com)

  • (5/15/2001) The following article came from The Springfield Times:

    Springfield Mall Connector store approved

    The operation of the Springfield Mall Connector store was approved for another year by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.  The board approved the supplemental appropriation of $150,000. Funds are available from the Fiscal Year 2001 congestion mitigation air quality funds. The connector store is part of the Interchange Information Center, which will continue operation through the duration of the Interchange project

     

  • (5/15/2001) The following article came from The Springfield Times:

    TAGS wins grant

    The TAGS bus service, which operates within central Springfield, was awarded a $350,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to continue service.

    Rep. Jim Moran (R-8th) said TAGS makes the business district more accessible for low-income residents, as well as many "reverse commuters" who travel to work via Metro.

     

  • (4/30/2000) The following article came form The Springfield Times:

An announcement by Virginia transportation officials on April 24 revealed that the Springfield Interchange project is well ahead of schedule and way over budget.
While the project is progressing ahead of schedule, the price tag on it has jumped to $585 million, an increase of about $75 million, since June 2000.

Charles "Chip" Nottingham, commissioner of the Virginia Department of Transportation, said a significant amount of work in the Route 644 area may be completed by Aug. 10, months ahead of schedule.  He also said Phase V of the project was advertised for bid Tuesday and should be under way this summer.  That phase, originally scheduled to begin in the fall, extends eastbound to the Capital Beltway across Interstate 395 and adds two loops to the I-95, I-395 and I-495 interchange.

Nottingham said the latest cost estimate reflects a 3-percent increase over an estimate made last fall; however, that depends on which estimate is used as a comparison.  While Nottingham said the fall 2000 estimate was $567 million, VDOT announced in September 2000 that the estimate was $540 million. At that time, officials provided a breakdown of a June 2000 estimate at $509 million; the $567 million figure was an October update.

In addition, the final phase of the project, which would add HOV ramps to connect to future HOV lanes on the Capital Beltway, was eliminated. This phase was estimated at $40 million and, by eliminating it, should save the project that amount of money.

So, while it may be a 3-percent increase over the October 2000 estimate, it's 8 percent more than September's $540 million estimate and 15 percent more than June's $509 million figure.  Since 1994, the project's cost has skyrocketed 79 percent from its initial estimate of $350 million.

The original estimate did not include an inflation factor, accounting for some of the additional cost. And extra sound walls and traffic mitigation steps have been implemented.  Joan Morris, spokeswoman for VDOT, said people need to be aware that gas, labor and supply prices fluctuate, making estimates difficult.

"When you've got a mega-year project like this, there's no way you can say what the bull's-eye target will be," she said, adding that the agency is working to improve that ability. "We've done lots of things internally to make sure we get better numbers."

Nottingham said he thought the $567 million figure was pretty close to final but would need some small adjustments during the remaining five years of construction.  "These are estimates that will be refined as we complete the engineering, complete the right-of-way acquisition," Morris said, adding that those totals are hard to nail down. "Those costs can change."

Nottingham attributes the 3-percent rise to increased construction, engineering and inspection (CEI) costs. These costs were estimated at 8 percent of the total project cost; however, they have now increased to 13 percent.

"We have encouraged inspectors to be out on the project all the time," Nottingham said. This increases the price but secures safety and constant surveillance, he said.  There have been no safety problems or major construction accidents to date, Nottingham said.

Lee District Supervisor Dana Kauffman (D) declined to comment on the increased estimate. He did not attend Tuesday's briefing.

Phase II, which includes work on the mainline of I-95, including 12 new bridges, is on track for early completion, Nottingham said. A $10 million bonus is promised if the contractor stays on this accelerated schedule, the largest early completion bonus in Virginia history, Nottingham said.  Earlier this month, the sound wall protecting homes along Cabin John Road from I-95 was removed, exposing the homes to interstate noise and traffic views. The project calls for shifting I-95 slightly west, closer to the homes.  Chuck Smith, Shirley Contracting contract manager for Phase IV, said the new wall should be completed in February and the road shift by summer 2002.

Nottingham said VDOT has followed through with its commitment to keep Springfield "open for business" during construction.  "We will not close lanes during rush hours," he reaffirmed.  The project is now scheduled for completion in spring 2007.

 

  • (11/9/2000) The following is an article from the Washington Post:

The Springfield Circulator was born a year ago as a short-term transportation fix, a way to ferry shoppers and workers between the Franconia-Springfield Metro Station and Springfield's commercial heart during the road congestion triggered by the massive Springfield Interchange project.

But as it celebrates its first anniversary, the circulator bus is so successful, Fairfax County and state officials have talked of expanding the service and making it permanent, and Metro planners hold it up as a model solution to parking crunches at their other suburban stations.

"It's a long-term solution to a short-term problem," said Nancy-jo Manney, executive director of the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce. "To be honest, the reason we got the funding is because we have a major construction project in our back yard. But since it's been running, we've shown there's a demand for it. Everyone we talk to is very happy with the service."

Since it started rolling in October 1999, daily ridership on the circulator has grown by about 60 percent, from 210 passengers to 337 passengers, said Jim Hughes, Metro's director of planning. Ridership is exceeding Metro's projections, he said.

"It's a great success," said T. Dana Kauffman, who serves on both the county Board of Supervisors and the Metro board. "The area is an urbanizing area, and we need a transportation system that makes it possible to get not only to the Metro but in and around it without having to take your car. And what's most amazing about the circulator is we haven't been able to advertise it--the ridership that we're seeing is all word-of-mouth."

The circulator bus also connects the commercial area with the Virginia Railway Express depot next to the Metro station. That link has opened up central Springfield as a job and retail center for travelers coming from as far south as Orange, Va., Kauffman said. "They can ride the VRE, hop on the circulator and take it to the malls, hotels and offices," he said.

Fairfax County, which reimburses Metro for the $650,000 annual operating cost of the bus, has drawn on a combination of state, federal and private funds. The program is administered through the Transportation Association of Greater Springfield, or TAGS.

Two 30-foot long TAGS circulator buses run continually on weekdays from 6:16 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. The ride, which costs passengers 25 cents, connects the Franconia-Springfield Metro Station with the Springfield Mall, Springfield Hilton, Springfield Plaza, Brookfield Plaza and Backlick Center. The complete loop takes about 30 minutes.

"It's a wonderful service," said Melissa Hendrickson, director of marketing at the Springfield Mall, who said that the buses carry customers as well as the mall's employees.

Slightly more than half of the daily passengers ride the circulator bus to or from the Metro station, while the rest are local passengers, using the circulator to get around central Springfield, Hughes said.

A second shuttle bus run by Metro ferries commuters between the train station and the Springfield Mall, where they can park free in 500 spaces set aside for them near Macy's. Ridership on that 15-minute shuttle, which was created in July 1999 as a solution to a parking crunch at the Metro station, has soared nearly 153 percent, from 180 passengers a day to 455 passengers a day. The shuttle is free of charge.

The circulator and the free shuttle are creative solutions to a parking crisis that plagues Franconia-Springfield and other suburban Metro stations, Hughes said.

"We are constrained by parking," Hughes said, referring to Metro's ability to absorb new subway riders. "But shuttles and circulators are the types of things we can do to increase access to rail."

To test the waters for weekend service, the TAGS circulators will run on Saturdays and Sundays from Nov. 25 through Dec. 31. Passengers will get a TAGS button good for discounts at more than 100 mall merchants and can enter drawings for a $500 spending spree at the Springfield Mall and free Amtrak trips to New York and New Orleans.

If the weekend runs are popular, they may become permanent, said Steve Titunik of the Virginia Department of Transportation. "We will find ways to get the money [for weekend service], either through sponsorship from the businesses or VDOT or user fees," he said. "It just makes sense. On Saturdays, getting around the mall area is a bear. If there's some way to do that without using your car, that's truly great."

The circulator is likely to become a permanent part of the transportation system in Springfield, well beyond the reconstruction of the Springfield Interchange, Titunik said.

"The real future of this program rests squarely on members of the community," he said. "The people at TAGS, the people in the community want these TAGS buses to have legs and live on."

  • (10/2/2000) The following article was in the Fairfax times.  The Franconia/Springfield Metro station is undergoing a 'restriping' that will add 250 additional spots. "By shaving just 6 inches off each space, we can add an additional 250 places," said Lee District Supervisor Dana Kauffman.  These spots should become available in two weeks.

    In addition to these 250 spots, 1,000 spots will be added in 2001. The six-level structure that will house the new 1,000-space lot will be built on top of the existing metered parking lot. About $800,000 of the $13 million set aside for the project is currently being used for the design effort.  The parking problem in the Springfield Plaza area has also been addressed, and 75 additional spots are being designated for commuter use.

    The county, VDOT and the owner of the shopping center are working together to make these spaces available in the next several weeks.  From state funding aimed at congestion management, VDOT will pay the owner $7.50 per spot each month. These spots will be available through the Mixing Bowl construction. The county will cover the insurance expenses through its current insurance coverage. The county will incur no additional cost.  According to Dottie Cousineau, the head of the marketing and ride sharing section for the county, these commuter spots will be identifiable via signs and blue stripes.

  • (9/21/2000) The following is from a report in today's Washington Post.  The six-year spending blueprint, which earmarks $10.3 billion statewide, includes money for several major new projects in Northern Virginia, notably improvements to the interchange of Interstate 66 and the Capital Beltway and the widening of three miles of Route 28 in Prince William County.   

    • It also contains funds to design new lanes on Interstate 66 between the Beltway and Haymarket, accompanied by a Metrorail extension along that route from Vienna to Centreville. Money is set aside as well to begin designs for the widening of I-66 inside the Beltway.
    • Statewide spending over the entire period is nearly a third higher than in the previous six-year plan, reflecting the infusion of $3 billion approved by the General Assembly earlier this year.
    • During the fiscal year that began July 1, Virginia would spend $2.19 billion, a 47 percent increase from the fiscal year that ended June 30. About $617 million of that would come to Northern Virginia, representing 28 percent of the money allocated statewide. Last year, the region received $292 million.
    • The spending blueprint, which will be voted on by the Transportation Board next month, includes more than a dozen new projects in Northern Virginia and accelerates at least eight other highway initiatives, including the final stages of construction on the Springfield interchange. Some of these projects have benefited directly from the legislature's action earlier this year while others are funded from other sources.  The board, appointed by the governor, approves the state's transportation plans and spending.
    • Mass transit would also register a substantial funding increase, with much of the spending concentrated in Northern Virginia. The development of express bus service and rail along the Dulles Toll Road, estimated to ultimately cost $2.2 billion, would receive $75 million, while an additional $76 million would be provided to Metrorail. About $10 million would be put toward improvements on Virginia Railway Express.
    • The priciest new highway item is a ramp and other improvements at the I-66 interchange, one of the worst bottlenecks in the region. About $100 million has been earmarked for engineering, property acquisition and construction.  The plan also includes $10 million to study and begin engineering for the widening of I-66 outside the Beltway and the Metrorail extension. Leo J. Bevon, head of the department of rail and public transportation, said it would take far more than six years to complete that rail line. The plan also accelerates the proposed widening of I-66 between Manassas and Gainesville and the construction of an interchange at Route 29, which would be put out to bid in early 2002.
    • An additional $5 million is included to begin engineering on the proposed widening of I-66 inside the Beltway, a proposal that has raised the hackles of many Arlington County residents who say it would violate an agreement with the federal government not to expand the highway.
    • In fiscal 2002, communities across the state will see secondary road funding decrease $12 million before rising again in subsequent years. That shortfall in 2002 could be addressed when the General Assembly returns next year, officials said. 
  • (5/7/2000) Please be advised that the speed limit has been lowered for parts of the Mixing Bowl due to recent accidents.  The speed limit is now 50 MPH, 45 MPH if only one lane of traffic is available. 

  • (4/1/2000) Supervisor Kauffman reported that he was finally successful in getting the City of Alexandria to coordinate traffic signals with VDOT along Van Dorn Street.  All signal lights were retimed as the week of FEB 28.

  • (4/1/2000) The I-95 northbound lanes are slightly narrower and shifted to the right for approximately one-quarter mile under and beyond the Commerce Street Bridge.

    This new lane shift is necessary to allow for construction of the new Commerce Street Bridge. All six northbound lanes will remain open but slightly narrowed to allow for construction space.

    The most noticeable change is for motorists entering I-95 from the Old Keene Mill Road (Route 644) west
    entrance ramp. Motorists driving down the entrance ramp will notice a shift to the right where the construction work will take place.

    I-95 northbound motorists approaching the Springfield Interchange area from the south will see reduced speed limit signs in the construction area. Motorists will return to the normal traffic pattern and existing 55 mph speed limit just beyond the Commerce Street Bridge. This new lane shift is expected to last through the summer of 2001. The HOV lanes are not effected by the new lane shift.

  • (3/12/2000) The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has approved a measure designed to help reduce light pollution in the county.  Effective immediately, new county-funded ``cobra head" street light installations will use a fixture with ``cut-off" lighting. The new fixture has an optic system with a ``flat plate lens" to direct all light downward to the area to be lighted. By limiting the spread of light, providing glare control and minimizing the amount of light projected upward, the new fixture will help reduce undesirable sky glow or light pollution in Fairfax County, the county says.  The colonial style and other approved street light fixtures will continue to be used in accordance with existing approved street light criteria. The previously approved "semi-cutoff" cobra head fixture will continue to be used on a limited basis at locations where it is necessary to light major roadways and/or to avoid installing new poles where existing power poles can be used for lighting purposes. For information, call the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services' Planning and Design Division, Street Light Section, at (703) 324-5800.

 

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