Efforts to better safely connect Woodbridge residents to community amenities such as parks, shopping, schools and public transportation continue, with the new footbridge over Powell’s Creek along Route 1. It links sidewalks on either side of the creek, providing safe passage for pedestrians and cyclists.
“Here we had two sidewalks to nowhere and no way to get across the creek other than to walk up on Route 1,” said Woodbridge District Supervisor Frank J. Principi during a ribbon cutting ceremony to open the $1.7-million footbridge. “I cannot tell you how many calls I got from concerned citizens who witnessed [dangerous crossings] day in and day out and were scared that someone could eventually get hurt.”
Safety for Prince William County residents is a top priority of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, Principi said. “I believe investing in the safety of our community is one of the most important things we do as a Board of County Supervisors. Over the last 10 years, we have invested $70 million in 21 miles of new sidewalks and trails here in Woodbridge.”
In addition to increasing safety, the footbridge connects to the system of trails and sidewalks that link parks, wildlife refuges, historic places and other points of interest that are part of the Potomac Heritage Trail. Collectively, Principi refers to this 50-mile system as the Woodbridge Pedestrian & Bicycle Loop.
This level of connectivity will enhance the community, Principi said. “This footbridge is more than just about safety. It’s also about connectivity, connecting people with people and people with things and places in Woodbridge.”
Rick Canizales, the director of the Prince William County Department of Transportation, said that the footbridge also adds to the region’s transportation goals and was one of the first transportation projects in the county to link missing pieces of sidewalk to create a multi-modal network around the county and the region. “This is part of a time now where Prince William County is looking at multi-modal transportation system that includes not only the roads that we have been building for years, but the trails, sidewalks, buses, trains and everything that can make the system work county-wide, region-wide, statewide for our community.”