A long-discussed widening of Pickett Road in Fairfax City won endorsement last week from many residents who attended a public hearing on the proposal.
The plan, which Mayor Frederick W. Silverthorne hailed as "the end of a narrow, dangerous road," calls for widening the road between routes 236 and 50. The City Council is expected to approve the proposal at its Feb. 12 meeting. State officials are expected to give their final approval to the $10.5 million project shortly, after reviewing comments made at last week's hearing.
Construction of the road, with sidewalks, a bicycle trail and 16-foot grassy median, is expected to take until mid-1983. The southern portion of Pickett Road already has four lanes, but has no median.
The new road will follow the present route except for a section between Accotink Creek and Rte. 50, where it will pass just east of the Foxcroft Colony Condominiums to eliminate a sharp curve onto Scheurman Road.
Residents of Foxcroft, a 600-person apartment project converted to condominiums two years ago, favor the new location of Pickett Road only if extensive landscaping and fences shield their buildings from the road, according to Philip Carter, who heads Foxcroft's board of directors.
The 1.7-mile road is used by 13,000 to 18,200 cars a day, often as a shortcut to avoid traffic congestion in the center of Fairfax. It also is a major route to Fair City Mall, the oil and gasoline storage tanks of Fairfax Tank Farm, industrial developments and city athletic fields along the road.
By the year 2000, traffic on the road had been projected at 23,000 to 45,000 cars a day, although recent fuel problems have caused planners to lower traffic projections for most Washington-area roads.
Originally, plans included connecting Pickett with an extended Blake Lane, to give motorists a circular bypass along the northeastern edge of Fairfax City and direct access to the future Vienna Metro subway station at I-66 and Nutley Road. The Blake Lane extension has been deferred by Fairfax County.
Although the state will build the new road, federal funds will pay for most of the project.