We've sent out quite a few E-Updates recently but I thought it was important to alert you to some important changes you may have noticed along the Old Bridge Corridor. I hope you will take the time to read this information and pass it along to your friends and family.
|Old Bridge Road Update|
Over the past few days, I have received numerous inquiries as to the construction along Old Bridge Road. As you drive along the road, you too may have noticed the jersey barriers, heavy equipment, barrels, cones and other indications of construction activity from about Oakwood Drive all the way down to Rolling Brook Drive. This is part of a series of safety improvements to the corridor, including improving sight distance, upgrading various intersections, modifying "superelevation," and enhancing pedestrian facilities (however, no widening of Old Bridge will occur).
When completed, these projects should improve safety and promote better traffic flow along Old Bridge. However, in the meantime, you will see construction equipment and activity and it will have some impact on travel conditions from time to time. In fact, about two weeks ago on Friday afternoon at about 5:00 p.m., my office received a phone call from a concerned constituent who mentioned that VDOT had forgotten to remove the barriers from the construction project between Rolling Brook and Harbor before rush hour began. As a result, we alerted the county police and officers were immediately dispatched to move the barriers in order to increase the flow of traffic. Unfortunately, as many of you commuting that day probably realized, the traffic situation had already become a disaster.
Following the incident, we have been working with VDOT to understand what occurred that day and try to prevent it from happening again. As it turns out, the traffic barriers were left in place intentionally as VDOT considered a permanent lane closure as part of its ongoing improvements. This would have left one westbound lane closed for several weeks, including during rush hour.
Obviously, this was very concerning. Construction normally occurs between the hours of about 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. so as to avoid major impacts on the morning and afternoon commuters. As a commuter on Old Bridge myself, I realize that we simply cannot shut this much of a lane down during rush hour--particularly if the closure is going to last for weeks. The good news is that VDOT has re-evaluated their plans following meetings with my office and our county transportation staff. Although the new plan will still have some impact, itis much more "commuter friendly" and will take effect beginning this Wednesday, September 26.
Specifically, as you drive along Old Bridge, you can expect to see the following changes:
I understand that this is still not the ideal situation; however, it is certainly preferable to the original proposal. My staff and I will monitor the progress of this project and work closely with VDOT over the course of the next several months to make sure that any other issues that may arise are resolved as quickly as possible. We will certainly continue to keep you apprised of any new information as it becomes available. I do not anticipate this will cause major delays and once people get used to the modified traffic pattern, it should be okay. However, in the meantime, you may want to consider the Prince William Parkway as an alternative to Old Bridge in the afternoons if it suits your commuting needs.
As mentioned above, the construction is part of a series of improvements to the Old Bridge Corridor. To that end, below is a table that VDOT has produced, which provides more detail on each project. It will give you an idea as to what to expect in the next few years (including what has been completed and what remains to be completed). Please feel free to pass this information along to other commuters who may not be signed up to receive our E Updates.
Old Bridge Corridor Projects (as of Sept. 2012)
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Mike May, Occoquan District Supervisor