$260 Million Earmarked For Va. Roads, Interchange
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
The first real evidence of the federal stimulus spending for many Northern Virginians will come in the form of orange traffic cones as the region receives an infusion of more than $260 million to pave roads, complete the Fairfax County Parkway and build a major interchange at Fair Lakes Parkway.
Four Northern Virginia counties -- Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William and Arlington -- and the independent municipalities within them will receive more than $260 million in funding announced Monday by Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D).
The stimulus infrastructure package will provide the final funding piece for the long-anticipated interchange that should relieve congestion where the Fair Lakes and Fairfax parkways intersect. The new interchange will carry Fairfax Parkway traffic over Fair Lakes Parkway, with ramps connecting the two.
"This has been a long-standing priority for the region," said Nick Donohue, the state's assistant transportation secretary.
To be eligible for stimulus funding, projects were required to be "shovel ready" and must be completed within two years.
"This was work that had been planned but delayed due to the budget," Donohue said. The Virginia Department of Transportation is facing a $2.6 billion budget shortfall.
More than $60 million will go to pay for the final portions of the Fairfax County Parkway, which is being expanded to accommodate an influx of newcomers to Fort Belvoir, which is transforming into one of the country's five largest military facilities.
The construction completes a link between two heavily trafficked highways, Route 1 in the southeastern part of Fairfax and Route 7, which parallels the county's northern border.
"This means motorists driving north on I-95 who want to get to various parts of Fairfax will be able to have another option and won't have to go all the way up to [the] Springfield [interchange]," said Steven M. Titunik, a spokesman for the project.
VDOT spokeswoman Joan Morris said stimulus-funded repaving would begin this summer on six Prince William highways (Routes 1, 15, 28, 29, 55 and 234) and three Loudoun roadways (Routes 7, 9 and 287).