Safety improvements for pedestrians and bicyclists coming to Arlington

WASHINGTON — Construction projects set to improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists in Arlington County could get underway as early as August, said Bill Roberts, the acting Transportation Planning and Capital Projects Management bureau chief for Arlington.

The Arlington County board on Saturday approved construction contracts to the Sagres Construction Corporation for several improvement projects. One is a $1.7 million project that will improve safety at two dangerous intersections on Arlington Boulevard: one at Park Drive and Arlington Boulevard; and the other at Manchester Street and Arlington Boulevard.

The improvements include new traffic lights, curbs, gutters, sidewalks and pavement markings. The intersection projects are primarily about improving safety, Roberts said.

“I know the Arlington Boulevard projects; there was a history of crashes at those intersections,” he said.

Roberts said the contract is being funded by the Federal Highway Administration’s Highway Safety Improvement Program. The program provides funding to improve roads based on crash data and other information.

The board on Saturday also approved a $2 million contract to improve intersections along the Washington & Old Dominion Trail and the Custis Trail. Roberts said that it becomes pretty dicey where the trails intersect with vehicular traffic. These two trails are the most heavily used trails in the county, he said.

The following intersections along the Washington & Old Dominion Trail, near South Four Mile Run Drive, will undergo improvement projects:

  • at South at George Mason Drive
  • at the entrance to the Barcroft Sports Complex
  • at South Oakland Street

Along the Custis Trail, the following intersections will undergo improvements:

  • Lee Highway and North Scott Street
  • Lee Highway and North Quinn Street
  • Lee Highway and North Oak Street.

Roberts said construction would start in August or September at the latest, but it’s unclear which project or projects the Sagres Construction Corporation will work on first. He said they could do several projects at the same time.

A  major goal for the county’s transportation projects, said Roberts, is to improve safety for all — vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians. He said it’s especially important in Arlington because there is so much pedestrian and bike traffic.

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