The Route 28 widening from Route 29 in Fairfax to the Prince William County line is officially underway, after officials broke ground last week on the $79.5 million, 2.3-mile long project aimed at easing congestion on the way to and from the Manassas area.
As part of the project, Fairfax County, the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority and the Virginia Department of Transportation will widen the existing four-lane stretch of 28 to six lanes, upgrade five traffic signals along the route and install new shared use paths for bicyclists and pedestrians on both sides of the roadway.
To fund the project, the state contributed over $33 million between VDOT revenue sharing funds and Virginia Smart Scale, the NVTA chipped in $26 million and both the county and federal government paid about $10 million each. The NVTA contribution brings the authority’s spending on the Route 28 corridor to over $350 million.
In May, Manassas and NVTA officials broke ground on a $20.2 million project to widen the stretch of Route 28 between Godwin Drive to the Prince William County line from four lanes to six and add shared use paths.
At the Fairfax County groundbreaking on Friday, Loudoun County Board of Supervisors and NVTA Chair Phyllis Randall claimed that the project would ultimately lower travel times.
“The Route 28 widening project will reduce congestion as well as improve travel reliability on the high-volume Route 28 Corridor impacting the counties of Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William, and the Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park,” Randall said. “The project will result in vastly improved commutes to major commercial and employment centers, including the nearby Dulles Airport.”
The widening plan won approval from the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in 2014. In Prince William County, details are still being hammered out on a Route 28 bypass that Prince William supervisors approved last year. That plan would add a new four-lane road extending Godwin Drive from the Manassas city limits to Fairfax County.
The project’s environmental review found that seven wetlands and five waterways were within the widening’s right-of-way and in areas proposed for storm water basins. To try to mitigate the project’s impact, stakeholders will purchase credits from a wetlands bank and erosion and sedimentation measures will be implemented during construction, according to Fairfax County.
Del. Dancia Roem (D-13th), who ran her first campaign for the House of Delegates on addressing Route 28’s congestion, said the impacts of the Fairfax project would be felt region-wide.
“It’s so important that we look at transportation regionally,” she said. “What helps one of us can really pay big benefits to all of us when we put all the pieces together.”
Construction is expected to take about two years, with the county saying night work is likely. Contractors are required to maintain pedestrian and vehicular traffic, as well as keep all lanes available during peak travel hours.