The Prince William County Department of Transportation will host a public information meeting for people to learn about the upcoming project to build a 1,400-space commuter parking garage on county-owned property at 2502 Opitz Boulevard in Woodbridge. The meeting will be held at Freedom High School, 15201 Neabsco Mills Road in Woodbridge, between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 11.

People who attend the meeting will have the opportunity to see project exhibits, discuss tentative project schedules, meet with Prince William County elected officials and transportation representatives and provide input on the Potomac-Neabsco Commuter Parking Garage Project.

Dagmawie Shikurye, the county’s project manager overseeing the development of the garage, said there will be a lot of information available at the meeting. “We’re anticipating that we will have a full, topographical view of the parcel, where exactly the garage will be located and types of access. At this point, we have three different access points to the structure. One is via River Rock Way; another one is via Bridge View Drive; and a third one comes through Potomac Center Boulevard.”

The access points and other aspects of the project could be subject to change, since the project will be a design-build process, meaning the design and construction will closely coincide, Shikurye said. “The main reason we’re having this meeting is to refine what we have based on input from the public. There’s some room to work with the comments that come from the public by incorporating them into our preferred alternative and seeing what would work best.”

Shikurye said the seven-level garage will have nearly twice as many spaces as the county’s largest, 726-space, commuter park-and-ride lot at Telegraph Road. “This is really going to be a game changer for Prince William County. We’re going to have bus stops that access OmniRide, as well as kiss-and-ride and slug lines. Being able to remove that much traffic will just alleviate a lot of pressure from the corridor.”

Written and verbal comments about the project will be accepted at the meeting. People who cannot attend the meeting can email Shikurye at DShikurye@pwcgov.org, or mail comments to the attention of Dagmawie Shikurye, Prince William County Department of Transportation, 5 County Complex Court, Woodbridge Va. 22192. Comments must be received by Jan. 14, 2020.

Details of the project files will be available as they are updated at: https://www.pwcgov.org/government/dept/dot/Pages/Current-Road-Projects.aspx under Neabsco Commuter Garage.

The process to build the $36.5-million garage is slated to begin when a design-build contract is awarded in December 2020. Construction is set to begin in April 2021, with a completion date set for April 2023, Shikurye said.

The county will contribute $1 million toward the project with the remainder of the money set to come from the Federal Highway Administration. The administration based the decision to build the parking lot on the Virginia Department of Transportation’s SmartScale program which establishes priorities for transportation projects in the state, Shikurye said.

More information about this project and other transportation and mobility projects in the county is available at pwcgov.org/transportation.

“The main reason we’re having this meeting is to refine what we have based on input from the public. There’s some room to work with the comments that come from the public by incorporating them into our preferred alternative and seeing what would work best.” Shikurye said.

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