Alexandria has proposed major road improvements for two of the city's busiest intersections, where Beauregard Street crosses King Street and Seminary Road, in an attempt to alleviate heavy traffic congestion in the city's fast-growing West End.

Beauregard Street would become an underpass at each intersection, allowing traffic to flow along it beneath King Street and Seminary Road. The improvements would include adding four merge lanes at Beauregard and Seminary as well as a right-hand exit loop from Seminary onto Beauregard. Four exit ramps would be built at Beauregard and King.

Escalating development in the West End has caused the average number of vehicles passing through Beauregard and King each day to jump from 75,316 in 1980 to 91,032 last year, city records indicate. It is the third most dangerous intersection in Alexandria, according to the American Automobile Association, and city officials say it is one of the most heavily traveled spots in the Washington area.

While King and Beauregard is the busier of the two intersections, city records show that the average number of vehicles per day that pass through Beauregard and Seminary jumped from 58,218 in 1980 to 68,470 in 1986. According to the AAA, 19 accidents occurred at King and Beauregard in 1986, one less than at the two most dangerous intersections in the city. Those intersections were at King Street, Quaker Lane and Braddock Road, and at Walker and Duke streets. Each had 20 accidents.

"In the evening rush hour, cars sit an average of five or six minutes to get through the light at Seminary and Beauregard. That's about four light changes," said Charles Kenyon, the city's transportation division chief.

Alexandria City Manager Vola Lawson has recommended that the City Council request state and federal funds to pay for 95 percent of the $11.6 million project.

"Alexandria is entitled to about $4 million from the state this year for road improvements, and $2 million of that has not been set aside for projects," said Dayton Cook, the city's director of transportation and environmental services. "In recent years, Alexandria has received only about $2 million a year {from the state} for road projects."

If the council passes a resolution requesting the funds, Cook said, it would still take five to eight years before the improvements could be completed.

Cook said the Beauregard and Seminary improvement has been in the city's master plan since 1953 and in the capital improvement budget for 10 years. But the project has been put back each year, primarily because of its price tag -- $6.6 million.

The Beauregard and King improvement, which will cost $4.9 million, has been in the master plan since 1962.

Ten years ago, the project got as far as the public hearing stage, Cook said, "and then it was blocked by a half dozen influential residents who were opposed to it."

Alexandria Mayor James P. Moran Jr., who supports the projects, said the plan to raise the level of the ramps at Beauregard and Seminary needs to be redesigned.

"I think we may want to do some alterations there so that the raised cloverleaf doesn't detract from the homes on the northwest corner of the intersection," Moran said.

"I'm very much in favor of these projects; we need both of them and not in 10 years. We need them right now, and that's why we've got to have the state and federal funds," Moran said.

Lawson has recommended that the council request that the road projects be funded 70 percent from federal funds, 25 percent from state funds and 5 percent from city funds. If such an agreement is reached, the city would pay about $580,000 for the projects. The City Council will hold public hearings on the projects Nov. 14 in the council chambers.