Don’t stop: Route 234 project to eliminate back-to-back lights in Prince William Co.

A key commuter route in Northern Virginia is about to be configured with the goal of keeping drivers moving.

Route 234 is currently a clumsy assembly of roads that has traffic flow hampered by back-to-back traffic lights.

“The Route 234 corridor is a vital corridor in Prince William County, in Northern Virginia, and the state of Virginia,” said Ann Wheeler, chair-at-large for the board of county supervisors. “It connects commuters in the county both to [Interstate] 66 to the west, and I-95 to the east.”

Ground is being broken Monday on the Route 234 and Brentsville Road Interchange Project to deal with the current layout, which produces bottlenecks: “There are several major intersecting roadways, which include two traffic signals, closely spaced together.”

The most problematic area is in a stretch of the Route 234 Bypass, where Dumfries Road, Brentsville Road and Prince William County Parkway all intersect with the bypass. Drivers can often be stopped by two traffic lights while navigating through the area.

The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority is funding the $55 million project, which was first conceptualized by the Virginia Department of Transportation back in 1994.

The project realigns a section of Brentsville Road and constructs side-by-side bridges that cross the Route 234 Bypass — one bridge carries Brentsville Road traffic, the other carries Prince William Parkway traffic.

“This eliminates the existing traffic signals,” Wheeler said.

The bridges will feed a series of ramps, which carry traffic onto each of the nearby roadways. In a March 18  video presentation, project heads demonstrated the flow of traffic, heading from and toward Manassas, Dumfries and Gainesville.


The project includes improvements for pedestrians and cyclists, including a multiuse path along the Brentsville Road bridge, which connects to nearby existing paths.

The project has made some tweaks to address concerns voiced by neighbors, and a group called Active Prince William, which advocates for cyclists and pedestrians.

According to the county’s public information presentation from March 22, an additional pedestrian overpass over the Bypass, located east of the new bridges, is being considered.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a general assignment reporter with WTOP since 1997. He says he looks forward to coming to work every day, even though that means waking up at 3:30 a.m.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up