Is a Solution on the Way for a Commuter Trouble Spot?
The intersection of Pleasant Valley Road and Braddock Road has long been a problem area, and officials say it's time to do something about it.
During peak commuting hours, long lines of cars back up at the intersection of Pleasant Valley and Braddock roads, with drivers often waiting over 10 minutes for their turn at the stop sign.
That situation just might change in the next few years. VDOT is considering plans to make some major changes at that intersection, which a large number of commuters from the South Riding area use.
"The current four-way stop operates at level of service 'F'. Which is obviously failing," said Bill Cuttler, a representative of VDOT, to chuckles from a group of about three dozen residents at a meeting about the project in the Sully District Governmental Center Monday.
Cuttler said that the proposals VDOT is considering would improve the traffic situation, but not drastically—bringing it to more of a 'C or D' level. Officials outlined three basic ideas on how to improve the intersection.
- Option 1: Add in a roundabout 100' circle diameter.
- Option 2: Construct the 100' roundabout slightly further to the west, in order to offset impact to park woods.
- Option 3: Put in a traffic light.
To see proposal designs, click on the photos in the upper right.
Where Will the Money Come From?
The total cost is estimated at $3-4 million, depending on the design.
Sully District Supervisor Michael Frey said that Loudoun County has offered to chip in $2.4 million for the project (the total after matching funds from the state kick in), and the Commonwealth Transportation Board has allocated $600,000.
"This intersection is clearly a hotspot," Frey said. "That's why Loudoun and others have stepped up."
Project Would Impact Parkland, Cox Farms
Complicating the issue is the fact that the woods are home to a rare plant, spikerush. The second option would have less impact on the woods, but would involve taking more land from the farm.
VDOT plans to come back to residents at the end of the summer or early fall with a preliminary design for the project. Construction would begin in mid to late 2014. VDOT will also put up a website soon for people to submit comments about the proposal. Supervisor Michael Frey will also pass along suggestions or comments to VDOT.
Note: This article has been amended to clarify that the total amount from Loudoun County includes a matching donation by the state.