road work ahead sign

Several Prince William County road projects received key approvals this week.

During its meeting Tuesday, the Board of County Supervisors signed off on expenditures, design guidelines and expanded scopes across three projects.

The majority of the measures apply to a sweeping widening and realignment of Balls Ford Road. The board also approved agreements for widening U.S. 1 in Dumfries and for pedestrian improvements in Dale City.

Balls Ford Road 

The board unanimously awarded a $21.99 million contract to Roanoke-based Branch Civil for improvements to Balls Ford Road.

The project will widen about 1.2 miles of Balls Ford Road to a four-lane divided highway between Doane Drive and Ashton Avenue. It will include a 10-foot shared-use path and a 5-foot concrete sidewalk.

The board took three actions related to the project. First, it authorized the condemnation and seizing of easements at 7501 Century Park Drive for construction. The property is owned by McLane Foodservice Inc.

The county says it needs 964 square feet for street dedication, 1,307 square feet for utilities and a 528-square-foot temporary construction easement. The county’s last offer was $21,968. 

Condemning the area for the easements allows the county to take control of the land while negotiations continue over compensation for the property owner. If an agreement cannot be reached, the Prince William County Circuit Court would determine a proper payment.

Second, the board approved expanded design guidelines for construction. The changes are adding a roundabout at the existing intersection of Balls Ford Road, Randolph Ridge Lane and Delinski Way and extending the widening by an additional 600 feet to reach the intersection of Devlin Road and Jennell Drive.

Connected to the extension of the project, the board authorized an agreement with Virginia Eagle Properties LLC for improvements along its property near Jennell Drive.

According to county staff, Virginia Eagle requested improvements in exchange for payment and dedication of easements for the project.  The company requested right-turn lane, entrance and stormwater management improvements.

The company will provide all easements for $525,000. Design and construction of the extended portion of the project is estimated at $1.95 million. Virginia Eagle will pay the difference of $1.43 million.

The work will tie into a reconfigured Balls Ford Road interchange with Va. 234 as part of the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Transform Interstate 66 project. The interchange work covers Balls Ford from Devlin Road to Doane Drive.

That project includes a diverging diamond interchange, a bridge crossing Norfolk Southern Railway and relocation and widening of about 1.84 miles of Balls Ford Road.

U.S. 1 

The board approved an agreement for the widening of U.S. 1 in Dumfries and set aside $44.86 million in regional funding for the project.

Officials plan to widen U.S. 1 to a six-lane road between Bradys Hill and Dumfries roads. The project has been estimated to cost $130 million.

When completed, the two existing northbound lanes of U.S. 1 in the town will accommodate three lanes heading in each direction. The current southbound lanes through the town will become a local two-way Main Street.

Dumfries has asked the county to handle administration of the project because of its scope and complexity. The agreement approved Tuesday is between the county and the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, which last year dedicated $78 million in funding toward the project. The authority will reimburse the county about $4 million for design work.

County documents indicate construction is expected to start in fall 2024 and finish by fall 2026.

Gemini Way

The board also appropriated $157,000 in federal funds for pedestrian improvements along Gemini Way, which runs between Dale Boulevard and Minnieville Road in Dale City.

The project includes sidewalk curb ramps at intersections along the road and a 635-foot sidewalk on the east side of Gemini Way from Minnieville Road to the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Dale City Commuter Lot. It also includes a pedestrian signal and a retaining wall.

“If you’ve ever been along that road, it needs some serious pedestrian improvements,” said Supervisor Victor Angry, D-Neabsco.

In 2018, the board approved an agreement with VDOT for the project through the Transportation Alternative Program. The work included $834,000 in federal funds and a required 20% local match of $220,000.

The votes for all projects were unanimous. Supervisor Pete Candland, R-Gainesville, was absent. 

Tuesday was the board’s only scheduled meeting in August. The board will not meet again until Sept. 7 at 2 p.m. 

Nolan Stout covers Prince William County. Reach him at nstout@insidenova.com or @TheNolanStout on Facebook and Twitter.

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(2) comments

John Madden

Extending Balls Ford to Devlin doesn't make much sense. A better alternative would be to extend Balls Ford just to the west through the undeveloped land down to the Rollins Ford/Linton Hall intersection. Devlin is a residential area and should remain 2 lanes.

John Sebastian

Devlin is already scheduled to get widened between Jennell Dr (where the Balls Ford project stops) and University Blvd, and both University and Rollins Ford are going to be extended to connect their respective segments, crisscrossing the undeveloped land where data centers are going to be built. Everything has been approved so it's only a matter of time at this point.

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