Concept drawing for potential PWC garage

Concept drawing as Prince William Board of County Supervisors considers where to place a 1,414-space parking garage.

Three potential sites have been identified for a commuter garage in the Interstate 95 corridor near Woodbridge and Dale City.

Consultants were tasked with studying the traffic impact and cost estimates, among other criteria, of three possible locations for a 1,414-space parking garage between Opitz and Dale boulevards.

The Prince William Board of County Supervisors heard the results of the study at its regular meeting Tuesday, but did not take action.

The county hired WSP USA in February with $271,477 in state funding. So far, WSP has provided a roughly 400-page preliminary report to the board.

The parking garage project, which has more than $37.6 million in funding from the Virginia Department of Transportation, will serve as a park and ride facility for commuters and relieve overflow at the commuter lot at U.S. 1 and Dumfries Road.

The garage is also planned to be near the Neabsco Mills Road widening project, which is set to widen the road to four lanes from U.S. 1 to Smoke Court and cost $33.5 million. Construction is set to begin in October 2020 and end in August 2022.

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Garage options

Two sites are undeveloped areas — one at Potomac Town Center and another near Potomac Festival Shopping Center — while a third site currently houses a business called At Home at the former site of the Dale Boulevard Kmart.

Six sites were whittled down to three based on interest from property owners and other factors, county spokesperson Jason Grant said. The cost estimates are still preliminary and could change, he said.

The consultants estimated that costs for the three sites are higher than the available funding of $37 million; the three options range from $4.4 million to $9.6 million more than the available funds.

THREE SITES

One site is on more than 23 acres of undeveloped land at Potomac Town Center, where a deal was considered for a new Potomac Nationals stadium last year, but it was not finalized. Currently the P-Nats owners are negotiating a deal to build a new stadium in Fredericksburg.

The potential site for a parking garage is east of I-95 on Opitz Boulevard between River Rock Way and Potomac Center Boulevard. A garage at this site is estimated to cost about $43.9 million, which is $6.9 million over available funding.

The second undeveloped site is near Potomac Festival Shopping Center, which is west of I-95 between Potomac Mills and Telegraph Road. A garage at this site is estimated to cost about $41.4 million, which is $4.4 million over available funding. This site is adjacent to the I-95 South Dale City off-ramp.

The final site studied is At Home, which opened in the summer of 2016. A garage at this site is estimated to cost about $46.6 million, which is $9.6 million over available funding.

The county’s transportation director, Ricardo Canizales, said they wanted the comparison of the sites to be fair, so the proposed design for all three sites included leaving space between the road and the parking garage for possible future development.

“So you can see the development on the front of the site — the showcase — and have the parking in the back,” Canizales said.

The proposed parking garage would require about $50,000 in annual maintenance costs, and the county would also set aside $70,000 to $75,000 yearly for a capital reserve fund for bigger-ticket item maintenance costs, Grant said. Although there isn’t a set deadline, county staff will eventually bring a recommendation of one of the sites to the board to consider.

Tom Sebastian, representing Potomac Town Center, told the board the center would be willing to have the garage at its site.

TRAFFIC IMPACTS

Robert Morris, with WSP USA, told the board that his firm looked at existing traffic conditions at each location.

“We looked at what the demand would be at each location and looked at existing traffic, and tried to project future traffic with and without the garage to get a sense of how traffic would be impacted,” Morris said.

The consultants rated morning travel times from the three sites to I-95 Express Lanes as very good or good. Consultants rated afternoon travel times as very good for Potomac Festival Shopping Center, good for Potomac Town Center and poor for the At Home site.

The At Home site was rated as very good for access to and from the existing networks; Potomac Town Center was rated as good and Potomac Festival Shopping Center was rated as fair.

Traffic impacts to existing roads for Potomac Town Center were rated as fair while the other two sites were rated as poor.

Source: Prince William County weighing three sites for commuter garage | Prince William | insidenova.com

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