Fairfax County Parkway: Wikis

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Iowa 7100.svg Iowa 7900.svg
State Routes 7100 and 7900
Fairfax County and Franconia-Springfield Parkways
Maintained by VDOT
Length: 35 mi[1] (56 km)
South end: US 1.svg US 1 at Fort Belvoir
Major
junctions:
I-95.svg I-95 in Newington
I-66.svg I-66 near Chantilly
Virginia 267.svg SR 267 in Reston
North end: Virginia 7.svg SR 7 near Herndon
Virginia Routes
PrimarySecondaryHistoryTurnpikes

The Fairfax County Parkway, signed as State Route 7100, is a secondary state highway in the U.S. state of Virginia. It provides a north–south arterial route in Fairfax County with a mix of interchanges and signalized and unsignalized intersections. Its alignment roughly corresponds to part of the once-proposed Outer Beltway around Washington, D.C. The first segment of the roadway opened in 1987; the most recent segment was completed in 2001, though a short piece has yet to be built.

The Franconia-Springfield Parkway (State Route 7900) is a spur near the south end of SR 7100, leading east through Springfield and serving the Franconia-Springfield Metro station. While SR 7100 has access to the main lanes of I-95 (although the unbuilt gap prevents this connection by being used by drivers on the majority of SR 7100), SR 7900 interchanges with the HOV lanes of the Shirley Highway, a reversible lane system in the median of I-95 and I-395 to Washington.

Contents

Route description

The Fairfax County Parkway and its branch to Franconia generally have interchanges at major roads and traffic signals at less major roads. Along the main parkway (SR 7100), there are 15 full or partial interchanges and 37 signals, with eight of those signals at interchanges; the Franconia-Springfield Parkway (SR 7900) has five interchanges and only three signals. In addition, there are many unsignalized intersections along the road, but none of these are driveways, since the road is limited-access.[2] The road generally has a speed limit of 50 mph (80 km/h).[3]

Signage on I-95 for SR 7100 north (left sign) is covered, pending completion of the portion through Fort Belvoir.

The south end of SR 7100 is a short connection between US 1 at Accotink in Fort Belvoir and I-95 in Newington. It begins at an intersection with US 1 and heads northwest through Fort Belvoir, leaving the fort at a diamond interchange with Telegraph Road (SR 611), crossing I-95 at a full cloverleaf (exit 166), and ending just beyond at Fullerton Road. This portion replaced the existing Backlick Road (SR 617), which continues north from the I-95 interchange and connects to the Franconia-Springfield Parkway (SR 7900). Between Fullerton Road and SR 7900, SR 7100 has not been constructed due to delay caused by environmental issues, including an oil spill along its path through the Fort Belvoir Proving Ground.[2][4]

SR 7900 begins at an intersection with Beulah Street (SR 613), with Manchester Boulevard/Kingstowne Boulevard continuing east to Van Dorn Street. The road heads west, with interchanges at the Franconia-Springfield Metrorail/VRE station, Frontier Drive, the Shirley Highway reversible HOV lanes, and Backlick Road (SR 617). At the Rolling Road (SR 638) interchange, SR 7900 ends and becomes SR 7100, at the north end of the gap through the proving grounds. A short piece of Rolling Road south of the interchange was rebuilt to carry SR 7100, and a large loop ramp is designed for northbound SR 7100 traffic. Beyond this interchange, SR 7100 has two diamond interchanges, with Sydenstricker Road (SR 640) and Pohick Road (SR 641)/Hooes Road (SR 636), before a stretch of several miles with only at-grade intersections. From Backlick Road (SR 617) west to this SR 636 interchange, the parkway paralleled and replaced the existing Hooes Road (SR 636).[2]

The Parkway near its beginning, on Fort Belvoir property

From Hooes and Pohick Roads (SR 636/SR 641) northwest to the interchange with Ox Road (SR 123), SR 7100 is a surface road, built directly on the former Pohick Road. The parkway beyond Ox Road was built on a new alignment, and has a much smaller number of intersections. Just past Ox Road, SR 7100 passes under Clara Barton Drive, a minor residential street. It intersects the west end of Burke Center Parkway (SR 643), crosses over the Virginia Railway Express Manassas Line and Fairfax Station Road (SR 660), and intersects several other roads before a freeway section begins at a folded diamond interchange with Braddock Road (SR 620). A complicated three-level diamond takes SR 7100 over Lee Highway (US 29) at the south end of West Ox Road (SR 608), and SR 7100 crosses I-66 at exit 55, a cloverleaf. After passing over Fair Lakes Circle (SR 7701), the freeway ends at Fair Lakes Parkway (SR 7700); the next interchange, at Lee Jackson Memorial Highway (US 50), is a partial cloverleaf with two signals on SR 7100.[2]

From US 50 to Franklin Farm Road, the parkway curves northwest to reach the Outer Beltway right-of-way. This straight path is followed until Baron Cameron Avenue (SR 606), and includes an overpass at Pinecrest Road in the Fox Mill Estates neighborhood. After crossing the Dulles Access Road (SR 267), SR 7100 follows the east border of Herndon, with interchanges at Sunset Hills Road (SR 675) and Baron Cameron Avenue (SR 606). The parkway leaves the straight Outer Beltway alignment just beyond Baron Cameron Avenue, curving northwest and north to end at a diamond interchange with Leesburg Pike (SR 7), at which the traffic signals are on SR 7100. Algonkian Parkway continues north as a four-lane local road, eventually curving back west and south to SR 7 just east of SR 28.[2]

Another view of the Parkway

SR 7100 is also known as the John F. (Jack) Herrity Parkway, designated by the Virginia General Assembly in 1995,[5] and in 2001 SR 7900 was named the Joseph V. Gartlan, Jr., Parkway.[6] Jack Herrity served for 12 years on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, and was instrumental in getting the road built;[7] Joseph V. Gartlan, Jr. was a state senator who served Fairfax County for 28 years.[8][9] These names are ceremonial, and are rarely used by the public.[10]

The Fairfax County Parkway Trail is a multi-use trail that runs alongside the Franconia-Springfield Parkway and Fairfax County Parkway from Beulah Road to SR 7,[11] mostly as a sidepath, but sometimes using adjacent frontage roads and old alignments of the roads that the parkway replaced. It intersects the Washington and Old Dominion Trail north of Sunset Hills Road at Herndon, near that trail's mile 19.[12]

History

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Planning

The Outer Beltway was first planned in 1950 as the "Cross Country Loop", part of the National Capital Planning Commission's comprehensive plan.[13] In Virginia, by the time of a 1965 plan, it was to run through southern and western Fairfax County, crossing the Potomac River at Mason Neck and north of Great Falls, and passing generally west of State Route 123 (Ox Road) and east of SR 645 (Clifton Road, Stringfellow Road, and Lees Corner Road). The straight part of the Fairfax County Parkway between south of Franklin Farm Road and north of Baron Cameron Road is built where the beltway would have been.[14][15] During the 1970s, attention was focused on the Metrorail system, and environmental concerns temoprarily pushed the Outer Beltway onto the back burner. In the 1980s and 1990s, when the plan was revived as the Western Transportation Corridor, the route was shifted further west.[13]

The idea for the Springfield Bypass started in the 1970s as a bypass of SR 644 (Old Keene Mill Road) in Springfield. It was soon expanded, by 1978, to include most of what had been planned as the Outer Beltway.[16][17] The Commonwealth Transportation Board approved final plans on July 16, 1987 for the 33-mile (53 km) road, with 16 interchanges and 35 traffic signals between U.S. Route 1 at Fort Belvoir and State Route 7 near Dranesville. A spur to Franconia was included, providing access to the Shirley Highway HOV lanes and the Franconia-Springfield Metrorail station. Except for a short six-lane piece in Reston, the $242 million plan included only four lanes.[18][19] Since it was a surface road, the highway could incorporate existing roads. This included portions of SR 617 (Backlick Road), SR 636 (Hooes Road), SR 641 (Pohick Road), and SR 680 (Stuart Road).

55 homes and five businesses had to be taken by eminent domain to build the road.[18] Included in these 55 homes were five at the brand-new Innisfree subdivision in Springfield. Only months after families moved into the houses, located between SR 636 (Hooes Road) and the proposed highway, they were informed that their land would be needed for the interchange at SR 640 (Sydenstricker Road). Originally planned as an at-grade intersection, projections of increased traffic led to a redesign that required more right-of-way.[20]

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors changed the name to the Fairfax County Parkway on June 23, 1988, noting that it traveled far from Springfield. The Franconia Spur was not renamed to the suggested Springfield Parkway at that time, to give time to find a single name for the entire spur, already known as Kingstowne Boulevard at its east end.[21] By the next year, the permanent Franconia-Springfield Parkway name had been applied to the portion west of State Route 613 (Beulah Street); the rest of the road was not built as part of the project, and now carries the Manchester Boulevard and Kingstowne Boulevard names.[22]

Construction

I-66 to Herndon (1987-1993)

Three bond issues were approved by Fairfax County voters to pay for construction of the highway, as well as other roads in the county: $135 million in November 1985,[23] $150 million in April 1988,[24] and $130 million in November 1992.[16][25] The first portions of the road to open were financed by developers building in the area: the Cavalier Land Development Corporation from a new interchange on Interstate 66 north to U.S. Route 50, and the Hazel/Peterson Companies from Stringfellow Road north to Franklin Farm Road, both completed in 1987.[26][27] On October 24, 1989, the gap from US 50 to Stringfellow Road was filled, and the road was extended from Franklin Farm Road north to West Ox Road (SR 608).[28] It was further extended north to a new interchange on the Dulles Toll Road (SR 267) on October 22, 1991,[29] and north to Sunset Hills Road (SR 675) on July 7, 1993.[30]

Franconia-Springfield Parkway (1989-1995)

The first piece of the Franconia-Springfield Parkway, a short bypass of Hooes Road (SR 636) from Rolling Road (SR 638) east over Accotink Creek to near Lackawanna Drive, opened on August 7, 1989.[26] The rest of this spur to Beulah Street (SR 613) in Franconia opened on June 8, 1992, along with the reversible HOV ramps to the Shirley Highway (I-95/I-395).[31] (The Franconia-Springfield station did not open for Virginia Railway Express and Metrorail trains until four and five years later, respectively;[32][33] the interchange at Frontier Drive serving the station opened in December 1995.[34])

Springfield to I-66 (1993-1996)

The next pieces of the road to open were in the southwest, with an upgrade and bypass of Hooes Road (SR 636) from Pohick Road (SR 641) east to Rolling Road (SR 638) and the Franconia-Springfield Parkway opening by November 1993.[35] The highway from Ox Road {SR 123) north to Braddock Road (SR 620) opened on July 28, 1995,[36] and was connected to the existing portion at I-66 on September 19.[37] Two interchanges along this portion and the older one to the north - at US 50 and at US 29 - opened on December 14 and December 20 respectively.[34] From SR 123 southeast to the beginning of the Franconia-Springfield Parkway, existing two-lane roads were widened, opening the road from SR 123 east to Lee Chapel Road (SR 643) by May 1996[38] and to Pohick Road (SR 641) on July 2, 1996,[39] completing the road from Springfield to Herndon. However, until a now bridge opened in early September 2002, traffic on Pohick Road northbound (just east of Hooes Road) was required to turn right onto the parkway.[40]

US 1 to I-95 (1997) and Herndon to SR 7 (1999-2001)

The southernmost portion, from US 1 north across I-95 to Fullerton Road, mostly an upgrade of Backlick Road (SR 617), opened south of Telegraph Road (SR 611) by July 1997[41] and north of Telegraph Road later that year.[42] The first part north of Sunset Hills Road (SR 675), a short piece from the new interchange with SR 7 south to Sugarland Road (SR 604), opened by June 1999.[43] Extensions opened south to Wiehle Avenue (SR 828) on November 1, 2000[44] and Baron Cameron Avenue (SR 606) on December 21, 2000.[45] The gap was filled on November 5, 2001, finally completing the parkway north of Springfield.[46]

I-95 to Springfield

Construction has been delayed many times on the last segment, between Fullerton Road (just north of I-95) and Rolling Road (SR 638), which will allow traffic on the main part of the parkway to connect directly to the I-95 main lanes. Plans were made here in the late 1980s, and it was to be paid for by a developer who was to build a development on land bought from the U.S. Army's Fort Belvoir. But those plans fell through, and traffic growth necessitated a redesign.[38][42] Plans were again postponed in the early 2000s due to necessary environmental cleanup of that part of Fort Belvoir, which included unexploded ordnance.[47] The Environmental Protection Agency discovered in 2005 that an oil spill on the property had not been properly cleaned.[4] As of 2007, the project has been designed as a full freeway but placed on hold.[48]

Future improvements

Plans have been made for an interchange at Fair Lakes Parkway, just north of I-66. This project will be funded with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 funds. This project was certified on August 10, 2009, and the construction contract is expected to be let May 2010.[49]

The "gap" listed below is scheduled to be closed. The Fairfax County Parkway will turn South (along Rolling Rd.), and the Franconia-Springfield Parkway will be a spur. [50]

Major intersections

Only signalized intersections and interchanges are listed.[51]

Location Mile[2] Road(s) Notes
Fort Belvoir 0.0 US 1 (Richmond Highway)
0.8 Kingman Road, Farrar Road
Newington 1.8 SR 611 (Telegraph Road) Interchange
2.3 SR 10240 (Backlick Road)
2.6 SR 3726 (Terminal Road)
2.8 SR 877 (Newington Road)
3.0 I-95 - Washington, Richmond Interchange; exit 166 of I-95
3.1 SR 617 north (Backlick Road) Interchange; northbound exit only; other traffic should use SR 4600
3.3 SR 4600 (Fullerton Road)
Gap
Newington SR 636 (Hooes Road) / SR 8440 (Donegal Lane)
West Springfield 0.0 SR 7900 east (Franconia-Springfield Parkway) / SR 638 (Rolling Road) Interchange with a signal on SR 7100 northbound
0.4 Winters Creek Drive
Newington 0.9-1.1 SR 640 (Gambrill Road, Sydenstricker Road) Interchange
Burke 2.0-2.2 SR 636 south (Hooes Road) / SR 641 south (Pohick Road) Interchange
3.2 SR 4521 (Huntsman Boulevard)
3.5 SR 5853 (Reservation Drive) - South Run Park
3.8 SR 643 (Lee Chapel Road)
4.9 SR 644 (Old Keene Mill Road)
5.6 SR 645 (Burke Lake Road)
6.1 SR 6197 (Roberts Parkway) / SR 6185 (Karmich Street)
7.5 SR 123 (Ox Road) Interchange
Fairfax Station 8.3 SR 643 (Burke Centre Parkway)
10.1 SR 654 (Popes Head Road)
11.4 SR 620 (Braddock Road) Interchange
12.7 US 29 (Lee Highway) / SR 608 (West Ox Road) Interchange
Fairfax 13.7 I-66 - Washington, Front Royal Interchange; exit 55 of I-66
14.4 Virginia 7700.png SR 7700 (Fair Lakes Parkway)
14.6 SR 7969 (Monument Drive)
15.3 US 50 (Lee Jackson Memorial Highway) Interchange with signals on SR 7100
15.8 SR 750 (Rugby Road)
17.2 SR 7155 (Stringfellow Road) / SR 7138 (Stringfellow Court)
17.5 SR 7140 (Tuckaway Drive)
18.0 SR 6819 (Franklin Farm Road)
19.1 SR 608 (West Ox Road)
Reston 20.6 SR 665 (Fox Mill Road)
21.3 SR 5320 (Sunrise Valley Drive)
21.7 SR 267 (Dulles Toll Road) - Washington, Dulles Airport Interchange with signals on SR 7100; exit 11 of SR 267
22.0 SR 675 (Sunset Hills Road) Interchange with a signal on SR 7100
22.3 SR 6363 (New Dominion Parkway)
22.7 SR 606 (Elden Street, Baron Cameron Avenue) Interchange
23.3 SR 7412 (Walnut Branch Road)
23.7 SR 7675 (Lake Newport Road)
24.7 SR 828 (Wiehle Avenue)
25.6 SR 604 (Sugarland Road)
26.0 SR 7 / SR 6220 (Algonkian Parkway) – Tysons Corner, Falls Church, Leesburg, Winchester Interchange with signals on SR 7100

Franconia-Springfield Parkway (SR 7900)

Location Mile[2] Road(s) Notes
West Springfield 0.0 SR 7100 north (Fairfax County Parkway) / SR 638 (Rolling Road) Interchange
Springfield 1.2 SR 7060 (Bonniemill Lane, Spring Village Drive)
2.0 SR 617 (Backlick Road) Interchange
2.1 I-95 south / I-395 north (HOV lanes) Interchange with a signal on SR 7900
2.8 SR 2677 (Frontier Drive) Interchange
3.1 Franconia-Springfield (Metro) Interchange; westbound exit and entrance; eastbound access is via SR 2677
Franconia 3.6 SR 613 (Beulah Street) / SR 8113 (Manchester Boulevard)

See also

  • Intercounty Connector, a toll road being built in Maryland on some of the Outer Beltway right-of-way
  • Montrose Parkway, a surface road being built in Maryland on some of the Outer Beltway right-of-way, where the Intercounty Connector's path is further north

References

  1. ^ Virginia Department of Transportation, Transportation Board Approves Fairfax County Parkway Plans Final Segment of 35-mile parkway, March 22, 2004
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Google Maps street maps and satellite imagery, accessed October 2007
  3. ^ Glenn McCarty, Burke Connection, Removing Speed from the 'Speedway', October 14, 2004
  4. ^ a b Lisa Rein, Washington Post, Completion of Parkway is Stalled by Old Spill, September 29, 2005, p. T3
  5. ^ Chapter 183, S. 812, approved March 14, 1995
  6. ^ Chapter 734, S. 291, approved March 26, 2001
  7. ^ Washington Post, Dying for Recognition, February 9, 1995, p. V3
  8. ^ Washington Post, United Region Puts Schools, Roads on Top of Wish List, January 3, 2001, p. T1
  9. ^ Washington Post, After 28 Years, Va. Lawmaker Calling It Quits, February 20, 1999, p. B1
  10. ^ John Kelly, Washington Post, Honored in All but Name, April 21, 2005, p. T10
  11. ^ Fairfax County, Fairfax County Parkway Trail Ribbon Cutting Set For October 24, 2:30 p.m., Hunter Mill District Press Release, October 18, 2002
  12. ^ Friends of the Washington and Old Dominion Trail: Map of the W&OD, Herndon - Reston (mileage markers 17.5 to 20), accessed August 1, 2007
  13. ^ a b Virginia Department of Transportation, Western Transportation Corridor Study Purpose and Need Statement, archived from August 22, 2004
  14. ^ Virginia Department of Highways, Northern Virginia Regional Plan, 1965 (partly reproduced on page 15 of this presentation)
  15. ^ Virginia Department of Highways, Northern Virginia Major Thoroughfare Plan, 1969
  16. ^ a b Washington Post, Virginia Referendums - No and Yes, October 31, 1992, p. A22
  17. ^ Thomas Grubisich, Washington Post, Bypass in Fairfax Still Long Way Off, February 6, 1978, p. C4
  18. ^ a b Washington Post, Springfield Bypass Near Approval, July 16, 1987, p. C9
  19. ^ Washington Post, State Rebuffs N. Virginia On Rte. 28 Rail Line, July 17, 1987, p. C3
  20. ^ John Lancaster, Washington Post, Houses Stand In Road's Path, June 1, 1987, p. D1
  21. ^ Washington Post, Government Actions, June 23, 1988, p. V4
  22. ^ Washington Post, Guaranty Bank Comes to Maryland, May 15, 1989, p. F11
  23. ^ Washington Post, Road Bonds Approved, November 6, 1985, p. A17
  24. ^ John Ward Anderson, Washington Post, Fairfax Road Bonds Pass in Landslide, April 13, 1988, p. D1
  25. ^ Peter Baker, Washington Post, Byrne Is First Woman From Va. in Congress, November 4, 1992
  26. ^ a b Steve Bates, Washington Post, New Fairfax Road Has More Monikers Than Miles, August 8, 1989, page D3
  27. ^ Washington Post, Parkway, November 4, 1988, p. E1
  28. ^ Washington Post, Fairfax Parkway Segment Opens, October 25, 1989, p. D5
  29. ^ Washington Post, Fairfax Parkway Stretch to Debut, October 17, 1991, p. V1
  30. ^ Michael D. Shear, Washington Post, New Parkway Section to Open, July 1, 1993, p. V2
  31. ^ Stephen C. Fehr, Washington Post, Bridge Set to Ease Springfield Traffic, June 7, 1992, p. B7
  32. ^ Leef Smith, Washington Post, VRE Adds A Pearl to Its String, July 18, 1996, p. V2
  33. ^ Marylou Tousignant, Washington Post, At Last, Metro Reaches End of the Blue Line, June 27, 1997, p. B1
  34. ^ a b Alice Reid, Washington Post, 3 Interchanges Opening Along Fairfax Parkway, December 12, 1995, p. E3
  35. ^ Fairfax County, Final Board Summary, November 22, 1993: notes problems with cut-through traffic due to the forced right turn from northbound Pohick Road onto the parkway
  36. ^ Robert O'Harrow Jr., Washington Post, Accessibility Grows With County Road, July 27, 1995, p. V1
  37. ^ Fairfax County, Final Board Summary, September 11, 1995
  38. ^ a b Washington Post, Progress On Fairfax Parkway, May 23, 1996, p. J1
  39. ^ M. Cherie Black, Washington Times, Missing Link Opens in Fairfax Parkway, July 3, 1996, p. C7
  40. ^ Washington Post, Metro; In Brief, August 31, 2002, p. B3
  41. ^ Washington Post, Where There's a Will..., July 23, 1997, p. V1
  42. ^ a b Alan Sipress, Washington Post, Last Part of Fairfax Parkway to Open in Next Millennium, October 14, 1998, p. V29
  43. ^ Washington Post, Directly to Dulles for Smoother Sailing, June 10, 1999, p. V1
  44. ^ Washington Post, Metro In Brief, October 31, 2000, p. B3
  45. ^ Washington Post, Metro In Brief, December 21, 2000, p. B3
  46. ^ Virginia Department of Transportation, Fairfax County Parkway Earns Top Quality Award, April 1, 2003
  47. ^ Timothy Dwyer, Washington Post, Parkway Completion Approved, January 29, 2004, p. T3
  48. ^ Virginia Department of Transportation, Fairfax County Parkway Extension, accessed July 31, 2007
  49. ^ ARRA Tracking Sheet p. 11, accessed January 13, 2010
  50. ^ Fairfax County Parkway Design-Build Project Retrieved 05/28/2009
  51. ^ Google Maps aerial photos; the stop line at traffic signals is clearly visible

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