Prince William County is still looking for regional, state and federal aid for the $355 million in road spending approved by voters in November, but they’ve recommended that the board of county supervisors use existing regional aid to pay for design work for the five projects.
The county can use existing Northern Virginia Transportation Authority aid to start design work on the transportation bond projects as early as this summer, said David Sinclair, the county’s management and budget director.
That NVTA funding can be dedicated to any transportation projects, Sinclair saidl, not just transportation bond projects — but they must be used for transportation projects that aim to reduce congestion.
Staff’s proposal is to allocate $4 million for the Devlin Road widening project, $2.5 million for the Minnieville Road and Prince William Parkway interchange and $1.5 million for the Old Bridge Road and Va. 123 intersection. In addition, staff has dedicated $6 million in NVTA funds to the Va. 28 bypass or widening project and $11 million in NVTA funds to be used for Summit School Road and Telegraph Road project.
Transportation staff estimate all design work will require anywhere from 18 to 30 months to complete, Sinclair said. This proposal includes no funding for any of the proposed $41 million park bond projects.
Supervisor Victor Angry, D-Neabsco, told InsideNoVa after the meeting the Minnieville Road and parkway interchange project will help improve operations at the intersection.
He said his goal for the parkway is to make it more efficient to help keep drivers out of cutting through neighborhoods.
He said late last year, he and former Supervisor Ruth Anderson, R-Occoquan, directed county staff to look at the parkway from Hoadly Road to Interstate 95. He said he is still waiting for staff to update the board about those findings.
Sinclair presented to the board the proposed $862.3 million capital improvement plan, which outlines construction projects in the next six years. Projects include improvements to county buildings and infrastructure projects. The board has final say in the proposal.
The plan does not yet include the school division's proposed construction projects, Sinclair said, adding those will be considered later in the budget planning process.
The county's plan includes county building upgrades, fire and rescue projects, public safety training center, Juvenile Detention Center, judicial center improvements and more, according to Sinclair's presentation.
Voter's approval of the referendum gives county officials at least eight years to issue general obligation bonds to finance the transportation projects with the ability to request an extension for a total of two years, Ricardo Canizales, the county's transportation director, told InsideNoVA on Tuesday.
Canizales told InsideNoVa the Summit School Road project is currently in the design phase and the Va. 28 bypass or widening project is facing preliminary engineering scrutiny as staff continue to work their way through the required environmental process. He also told InsideNoVa he prefers the bypass option, but staff cannot move ahead until they complete the federal environmental study.
He said he hopes to receive a response from the Army Corps of Engineers on the Route 28 bypass or widening project in the summer. The federal environmental study is considering impacts to communities, traffic noise, historic and archaeological resources, water quality, park space, air quality, streams and wetlands, along with other impacts on the environment.
The largest single bond project is the proposed Va. Route 28 bypass or widening between Manassas and Fairfax County. The other bond projects are the $50 million Devlin Road widening, the $70 million Minnieville Road and Prince William Parkway interchange improvements, and the $15 million Old Bridge Road and Gordon Boulevard intersection improvements.
On Dec. 3, the previous board of county supervisors awarded a $2.4 million contract to Kimley-Horn & Associates to design the $20 million four-lane extension of Summit School Road from its intersection at Kinnicutt Drive to Telegraph Road near the Horner Road commuter lot. The designs should be ready by spring 2021.
Once the project is completed, drivers will be able to avoid the narrow, two-lane stretch of Telegraph Road that currently serves as the easiest route between the commuter lots and eastern Minnieville Road.
The county could borrow up to $20 million for the Summit School Road project — which covers about 0.77 miles from Kinnicutt Drive to Telegraph Road, according to county staff. The county also plans to widen and improve Telegraph Road between the current intersection at Caton Hill Road to the Prince William Parkway — a distance of about 0.17 miles. And the project includes adding a sidewalk and a shared-use trail.
According to the county, the Summit School project will increase access to the Horner Road commuter lot and the I-95 Express Lanes.
The four-lane extension is estimated to need about three to four years to complete, according to county staff. Preliminary work will include a review of the effect on utilities and cultural resources.
The county plans for Summit School Road to eventually be extended to the Prince William Parkway, although that phase of the project was not included in the bond referendum.
Voters supported the road bond question 73.4% to 26.6%.