Route 50 improvements to widen lanes, decrease congestion

WASHINGTON — Hang in there, drivers! A road project that’s been underway nearly three years is closer to being done on Route 50 in Fairfax and Loudoun counties.

“We’ve been very focused on getting three lanes east bound completed and open to traffic by the start of school (fall 2014). We’re on track to do that,” says Mega Projects Director for Virginia’s Department of Transportation Susan Shaw.

Three new westbound lanes between Route 28 and Poland Road in South Riding should be completed by spring 2015, Shaw says.

Route 50 is being widened from a total of four lanes to six. The project — which has been underway since September 2011 — also includes numbers of other adjustments and improvements in various stages of completion.

The changes include:

  • Utility lines have been relocated
  • Bridges widened and upgraded
  • Paved 10-foot multi-use paths in both directions
  • Crosswalks equipped with pedestrian signals
  • Roadway will be more level with more space between travel lanes

Also, the project includes new and better-synchronized traffic signals at Poland Road, Tall Cedars Parkway, Pleasant Valley Roads, Stonecroft Boulevard, Avion Parkway and Lee Road.

Heavy traffic from growing communities and big rig trucks along the corridor put a strain on the old pavement.

But with the multi-year construction project, “It’s all brand new pavement from the bottom up. It should be in very good condition. We won’t have issues with potholes,” Shaw says.

When the Route 50 Mega Project is complete, it could be one area roadway that, for a little while at least, should be free of potholes.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story incorrectly listed the paths’ sizes.

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