ROADS & RAGE: Deficient Pavement throughout NOVA
Funding for Transportation Projects Won’t Cover the Wish List
The roads are as bad as you thought with little hope for a near term remedy.
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is responsible for more than128,000 lane miles of roadway. A report that is available on the VDOT website describes the pavement condition on roads in various regions of Virginia.
Although the Interstate Roads are rated in good condition, the state of the pavement on the secondary system is highly deficient in Northern Virginia. You are not imagining how bumpy your ride is throughout the area. It is not only the endless pot holes experienced region wide, but also the poor ride quality due to pavement roughness. Pavement roughness is generally defined as an expression of the aggregation of irregularities in the pavement surface, per linear mile, that adversely affects the ride quality of a vehicle (and thus the user). Roughness is an important pavement characteristic because it affects not only ride quality but also vehicle delay costs, fuel consumption and maintenance costs
The 2020 repaving schedule for the secondary system has not been announced. All the neighborhood roads in Mason District had been given the worst condition rating possible. Only a miniscule number have been repaved in the past two years. Overall, even with the minimum neighborhood repaving completed, the secondary road pavement in the Northern Virginia Region has been rated 59.09% deficient.
County % of Deficient Pavement
Loudoun County 53.96%
Fauquier County 61.78%
Fairfax County 61.08%
Prince William County 59.04%
Northern Virginia Total 59.09%
FUNDING FOR TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS WON’T COVER THE FULL WISH LIST
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved the FY 2020–2025 Fairfax County Transportation Priorities Plan (TPP) that directs County priorities for transportation projects through FY 2025. The current funding estimate for transportation capital projects to be implemented in Fairfax County through FY 2025 is $3.036 billion. With the Board approval, Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) will continue to implement projects that are currently underway.
The anticipated funding for a draft FY 2018-2023 TPP was $600 million in new revenues to fully fund existing projects and $170 million in new projects. Funding estimates were not realized, because in 2018, the Virginia General Assembly passed legislation that designated $154 million per year for the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority (WMATA) to address system improvement needs. This was accomplished by diverting funding from existing local and regional sources.
“Many of the priority projects that we won’t be able to advance now are crucial to improving safety of our residents, relieving traffic congestion and resolving missing links in our transportation system,” according to then Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, Sharon Bulova.
Current Chairman, Jeff McKay added, “We have taken a serious look at what our transportation needs are throughout the County and many exciting and important projects are in progress. However, some very important priorities have been deferred, because we did not receive the funding we expected from the Commonwealth last year. “The community helped us establish these transportation priorities. We are looking at all sources of available funding to advance the projects that we can. If additional money is allocated to local jurisdictions by the General Assembly in 2020, Fairfax County is ready to advance the schedules of these projects.”
Mason District has a few funded projects out of the sixty-six that were approved. Of note are:
Seven Corners Interchange in Mason/Providence $1.89 mil. Phasing and Feasibility Study only: Improvements to existing interchange at 7 Corners to reduce congestion on Route 7, improve access between Seven Corners/Falls Church/Bailey's Crossroads, and facilitate redevelopment of the area. Improve safety, navigation of vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians in and through the area. This project also accommodates future bus rapid transit.
Backlick Road and Industrial Road $5.42 million
Construct left turn lane on northbound Backlick Road including sidewalk along the west side of Backlick Road, upgraded pedestrian signal, and drainage improvements.
North Chambliss Street/Beauregard Street $1.75 million
Extend island at slip lane and construct 1000 LF of 5-ft sidewalk from Meeting House Way to the Lincolnia Senior Center entrance.