NewWoodbridge is buzzing with several new transportation construction projects that, when complete, will reduce traffic congestion, improve home values, and offer new outdoor recreational opportunities to residents. Several road improvements, new sidewalks, and pedestrian/bicycle trails are in various stages of completion throughout NewWoodbridge. Construction of the new infrastructure is the underpinning of the vision of NewWoodbridge, and enables us to rethink how we rebuild our community, enhance the ability to get around, and strengthen our neighborhoods. Most of the construction projects described below comprise the nascent NewWoodbridge Loop, a 50-mile network of sidewalks, crosswalks, trails, and boardwalks that will enable users to get from Belmont Bay to Potomac Shores along the Potomac and Occoquan Rivers and Route 1 – safely and in a way to enjoy our great outdoors. We have no fewer than 9 trail, boardwalk, road, and sidewalk projects moving forward in various phases, including funding, government approval, design, engineering, permitting, and construction. Please visit NewWoodbridge.org for your copy of the map, NewWoodbridge Loop.
Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail: Completion of the 14-mile Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail (PHNST) through Woodbridge is three steps closer to completion with the recent approval of the Neabsco Creek Boardwalk (connecting Rippon Lodge to Leesylvania State Park) The length of the boardwalk will be just short of a mile and be 10-feet wide with an observation deck. Construction of the boardwalk will also come with a new trail segment, parking lot, and traffic light to facilitate public use/safety. Outdoor exercise equipment has also been funded for this location.
Funding, approval, and engineering is in place for a new trail on Blackburn Road between Rippon Park/Rippon Lodge to Route 1. This is a highly scenic trail as it parallels the marsh area enabling users to avoid Route 1 (which is also an option given the new sidewalk at this location). This trail will enhance the boardwalk experience given the view of the Potomac River. One will also notice that power lines near Rippon Lodge are being undergrounded.
Following a year-long permit application process, the US Department of Fish and Wildlife has approved right-of-way permits to the County that enable the construction of the PHNST through both the Occoquan and Featherstone National Wildlife Refuges. The new segments will be a mix of trail, boardwalk, and observation areas throughout the nearly 1,000 acres of wildlife refuge in Woodbridge. These trail segments also connect users to Veterans Park and its community pool and cook-out areas.
Route 1/Neabsco Mills Road: Two Route 1 widening projects are also moving forward simultaneously. Construction widening of Route 1 is currently on-going between Annapolis Way and Mary’s Way. The Virginia Department of Transportation project is fully funded and scheduled to be finished in 2020. The focus currently is the undergrounding of utilities with widening work expected to start in January, 2018. Route 1 widening projects between Cardinal Drive and Featherstone Road are complete.
The County is also negotiating with property owners on Route 1, between Featherstone Road and Mary’s Way. Construction, including the undergrounding of utilities, is expected to start in 2018 and conclude by 2021.
While funding does not currently exist (estimated at $60M) to construct the North Woodbridge Interchange (Route 1 and Route 123 flyover), the design, engineering, and property acquisition for this project is complete. The Route 1 projects will result in a six-lane, divided highway with sidewalk on one side and trail on the other. We are already beginning to see significant private sector investment in the corridor with the construction process in place. In total, the County has invested $390M to widen Route 1.
Neabsco Mills Road, the most traffic congested road in Woodbridge, has been approved, funded, and engineered. The new road will be widened from an existing two-lane road into a four-lane divided roadway with a raised median, five-foot wide sidewalk, and 10-foot wide trail between Smoke Court (Neabsco Commons) and Route 1.
Sidewalks: The long-awaited Powell’s Creek Pedestrian Footbridge is complete! Recall, pedestrians pushing shopping carts and baby strollers had to enter Route 1 to get from one side of the creek to the other. The sidewalk and footbridge infrastructure significantly improves pedestrian safety and connects a sidewalk to nowhere over Powell’s Creek. Construction began on December 14, 2016 and has progressed over the past year with work on utilities and drainage completed last September.
A new 5-foot wide sidewalk will connect library users to shopping at Potomac Town Center, as the design phase is on-going between Potomac Library and Potomac Center Boulevard. Construction of this sidewalk will begin in May, 2018. The sidewalk will run on the south side of Opitz Boulevard between the I-95 overpass and Route 1. This project is expected to be completed in September, 2018.
Construction of a missing section of sidewalk on Horner Road is also scheduled to begin in December, 2017. This project will connect Forest Glen Road to Kilby Elementary School and improve the safety of school children who walk to school. Design for this section of sidewalk began in May and finished in October. The entire project is scheduled for completion in May of 2018.
All nine of these projects enable Woodbridge residents to walk, job, and bicycle the new “LOOP” in Woodbridge. Loop users will enjoy opportunities to canoe, kayak, fish, swim, cook-out, and camp on/near the Occoquan and Potomac Rivers. Check-out NewWoodbridge.org to learn of new projects and obtain a copy of the map of the Loop!