The City of Manassas broke ground on the latest improvements to Route 28 on Wednesday morning, kicking off a $20.2 million widening of the road on the southwestern side of the city that will also add a shared-use path.
With the help of the state, the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (contributing more than $3 million to the project) and the federal government (paying more than $1 million), the city is hoping to ease congestion along Route 28 by widening it from four to six lanes from Godwin Drive southwest to the Prince William County line.
Part of the city’s capital improvement program, the widening is projected to be finished by fall 2022 and will cost the city more than $11 million. In addition to the two new lanes and the bicycle/pedestrian path on the north side of Route 28, crews will also install a dual left turn lane from northbound Route 28 onto Godwin Drive and new street lights from the 234 bypass to the county line.
“Route 28 is not only a corridor of statewide significance; it’s a huge, huge bottleneck,” Northern Virginia Transportation Authority Executive Director Monica Backmon said at the groundbreaking Wednesday. “So the widening accommodates traffic needs for motorists on Route 28 as they move to and from the 234 bypass, and also offers improvements for cyclists and pedestrians.”
The project also ties into the series of widenings and expansions in and around Route 28 in both jurisdictions. Just south of the city limits, Prince William County is expanding the road to six lanes from the Route 234 bypass to Linton Hall Road. On the other side of the city, the county is still hoping to move forward with the Route 28 bypass, which would cut across from Route 28 to Godwin and Sudley Road, where the city is planning another widening.
In total, the NVTA has funded 10 transportation projects in the Route 28 corridor -- most of which are aimed at reducing congestion through roadway widening -- to the tune of $284.2 million.
At Wednesday’s groundbreaking, Manassas Mayor Michelle Davis-Younger was joined by Backmon and Dic Burke, the Virginia Department of Transportation's transportation and land-use director for the Northern Virginia region.
“The city of Manassas has waited a long time … to see this project come to fruition. Planning began back in 2004 as the area’s population began to expand,” Davis-Younger said. “We all know that time we lose in traffic is time that we can be spending with our friends and family. When this project is complete, the extra capacity should help lessen that time.”