Two still-to-be-opened Metro stations in Loudoun County, Virginia, will be connected by a road that’s not there today — and get a better interest rate to pay for it.
Loudoun County voters approved four bond issues on Election Day, including issuing more than $68 million in general obligation capital improvement bonds for six transportation projects, ranging from a roundabout at Route 9 and Route 287, and realigning a dangerous stretch of Evergreen Mills Road, between Reservoir Road and Watson Road.
Currently, Shellhorn Road comes to an end near Ryan Road, near Loudoun County Parkway. On Wednesday, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors are set to approve the location and design to extend Shellhorn to Moran Road, just off Old Ox Road.
Supervisor Matt Letourneau, the chair of the Board’s Finance, Government Operations and Economic Development Committee said when it’s completed, Shellhorn Road will connect two Metrorail stations along the Dulles Greenway — the Ashburn Station, at Route 772, and the Loudoun Gateway Station, off Route 606.
“It’s really about accessibility for residents to be able to access both of these transit corridors and Route 28, to get to points east,” Letourneau said.
According to the staff report, the project proposes the design and construction of nine-tenths-of-a-mile of four-lane median divided roadway, with a combination of 8-foot wide sidewalks and on-road bicycle lanes.
The improvements would include signalized intersections near the Metro stations. The proposed Shellhorn Road would be designed for a speed limit of 35 mph.
“Particularly near transit stations, it’s important to provide these alternatives to folks who may not want to use their car to get to a transit option. We’re going to have bus service and rail service at those stations, so we want to allow people to really get there on foot or on a bike,” Letourneau said.
In addition, Letourneau said, the road project would allow residents to pay less for their daily commute by avoiding the Dulles Greenway.
“The reasons for Shellhorn were really twofold: Number one, to improve that accessibility to our transit corridors, to our Metro stations, and development occurring around them,” said Letourneau. “And also so drivers have an alternative to the Greenway, so they don’t have to pay tolls to get to the same place.”