Public meeting to be held in April on Richmond Highway widening project

Part of the four-lane stretch of Richmond Highway near Hybla Valley that will be widened to six lanes.

The Virginia Department of Transportation will be holding a public meeting April 18 on the upcoming project to widen Richmond Highway between Napper Road and Jeff Todd Way/Mount Vernon Memorial Highway. 

The meeting will be at the Mount Vernon High School cafeteria from 6:30-8:30 p.m., with presentations starting at 7 (see map).

This will be the first public hearing on the nearly $215 million project, a key component of the larger Embark Richmond Highway initiative to transform transportation along the Route 1 corridor. This project does not include Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), but will be constructed so that bus-only lanes can later be added in the center of the road. 

Map

Click to enlarge

In addition to adding more lanes, the project will provide separate bicycle and pedestrian accommodations on both sides of the road. 

Topics discussed at the meeting will include:

  • Introduction of the Richmond Highway Corridor Improvements Project
  • Corridor Characteristics
  • Access Management
  • Potential concepts for some intersections (superstreet concept vs. traditional intersection)
  • Environmental Process
  • Right of Way Process
  • Project Schedule and Funding
  • Public Outreach Plan

The project is now in the preliminary design phase. Right-of-way acquisition and utility relocation will take from mid-2019 to late 2022, according to VDOT documents. Construction isn’t scheduled to begin until mid-2023. 

The right of way acquisition and utility relocation will be the most expensive part of the project at $120.6 million. Construction is projected to cost $75.7 million.

With a a separate widening project project from Jeff Todd Way/Mount Vernon Memorial Highway to Telegraph Road scheduled to be completed this summer, the stretch of Route 1 between Napper Road and Jeff Todd Way/Mount Vernon Memorial Highway will soon be the only four-lane part of Richmond Highway left between the Beltway and Lorton.

In addition to traffic congestion caused by the bottleneck, that area of Richmond Highway is a notoriously dangerous stretch of road, particularly for pedestrians. There is no median and only intermittent sidewalks throughout much of that stretch, and last year a 2.5 mile part of road was named one of the most dangerous for pedestrians in the county, according to the Fairfax County Police Department. 

For more information on the upcoming widening project, check out VDOT’s website

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  1. David L Batcheller

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