For a Better Commute. For a Better Prince William County.

Principi: New Investment, Construction Abound in Woodbridge

Since I took office in 2008, we have worked together to transform our community and create what I call a New Woodbridge – a smart growth community that attracts high-paying jobs, reduces traffic congestion, and preserves residential neighborhoods.  As a result of our efforts, over $1 billion in public and private investment is now coming to our community.

Think back five years ago.  Who would have thought that we would have our own Wegman’s and Apple store at a place called Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center?  As the economy continues to improve, we will see much more construction in the Woodbridge District.

Cranes, cones, and jersey barriers can now be seen at multiple projects in the district. One of which is a mixed-use development called Neabsco Commons, which is anchored by two Hilton hotels and office space.  Next door, the Northern Virginia Community College, Woodbridge campus, opened a brand new Arts & Science Building and they have broken ground on a multimillion dollar Workforce Development Training Center.

Construction can also be found at the Service Authority’s Mooney Plant on Rippon Boulevard, and with the additional of a state-of-the-art operating facility at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center on Opitz Blvd. Investment continues with classroom additions at five of our public schools, adding much needed capacity for an estimated 1,110 students. Additionally, design work is moving forward for George Mason University’s Potomac Science Center at Belmont Bay, and the Neabsco Creek Boardwalk along the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail.

We are also experiencing real progress with the widening of Route 1, adding Express Lanes to Interstate 95, expanded VRE train service to Washington and expanded commuter bus service to Tysons Corner. Progress continues with the build out of a Pedestrian and Bicycle Network to connect families with our schools, parks, wildlife refuges, and retail centers.

We have secured three federal grants in the realm of $500,000 each to complete sections of trail and sidewalk.  Additionally, three Route 1 widening projects are underway. VDOT is purchasing 99 properties in North Woodbridge and began demolishing structures in the path of our new road. Later this year, crews will begin burying the utility lines underground. Further south, crews are already burying utilities and bulldozers are clearing the way for a widened Route 1 between Blackburn Road and Featherstone Road.

I recognize that construction can be frustrating, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. Our goal in the Vision of a New Woodbridge is to revitalize the Route 1 corridor with mixed-use development, removing vacant or blighted buildings, attracting new businesses, investing in transportation infrastructure, and preserving the older neighborhoods that are our backbone.

However, not all development is right for Woodbridge. There are almost 5,000 approved multifamily residences in Woodbridge, many of which are already in construction. These are the result of “stale zoning”, meaning they were approved by the County 10, 20, even 30 years ago! These property owners have paid taxes and have been waiting for the right market. They have the right to build. This is a national phenomenon that we see playing out in our community.

Even with this challenge, we are so fortunate to have so many unique outdoor, historic, and educational amenities in the Woodbridge District.  Just think about spending a warm spring day touring Historic Rippon Lodge, hiking at Leesylvania State Park, playing soccer in Veterans Park, boating on the Potomac River, or bird watching in 1,000 acres of wildlife refuge! The Potomac Community Library has educational programming, and Potomac Town Center has over 75 national retailers and restaurants – even live music and family friendly outdoor movie nights!

I know construction is frustrating, and transitions can be difficult, but rest assured Woodbridge’s best days are ahead. Our vision of a New Woodbridge will soon be a reality. Woodbridge is a great place to live. Be sure to enjoy it!

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  • Bill Johnson

    Keep up the good work, Frank… and don’t stop fighting until Route one can be widened from Neabsco to route 234!

  • This all a positive direction for Woodbridge.

  • darkprime

    and how about adding a flyover at Cardinal and Route 1? That is a horrible bottleneck both north and south bound.

  • Janis Jackson

    I live along the east side of Rte 1 by Rippon and although the growth is painful I do see that eventually that widening Rte 1 is necessary and will be great for everyone to be able to actually drive their cars home at more than a crawl’s pace! I love that fact that someone has recognized the need to improve “sidewalks to nowhere” and can wait to be able to walk to StoneBridge from the other side of Rte 1, through a crosswalk even. God Bless those Freedom High school students as they risk their lives dodging traffic across Rte1 walking to and from school through fields, no sidewalks, and construction traffic and mostly the impatient and distracted drivers that seem to be everywhere nowadays. I love our parks and that the Department of Parks and Recreation take care of them really well.
    Can’t wait for wide walkable paths in Rippon too! We really need more dog parks in our community. I’d love to see off leash dog parks in all our community parks. The K9 Gunner Memorial Dog Park on Minnieville Rd is very crowded. I’ve never seen any other dog park with that many dogs at peak time; after work and on weekends and holidays. Who knew a dog park would be a such a huge crowd pleaser to the citizens of Prince William County?

  • Kenneth Acoff, Jr.

    I am encouraged by the developments happening here in eastern Prince William. However, as you just referenced expanded commuter options, PRTC last Friday notified its riders that it plans to eliminate the Tysons Express commuter bus route in November.

    With the increased residential construction and population in this area, there needs to be more financial commitment to public transportation, not less. As we have seen time and again in this region, wider roads has not necessarily fixed our congestion issues. Offering other alternatives to driving will not only aid in easing congestion and commute times, but also increase the attractiveness of Prince William County to businesses and agencies looking to relocate their operations.

    We only need to look at the Silver Line and the construction in and around Tysons to see the impact.

  • Supervisor Frank Principi has helped with some of the new improvements in Woodbridge, especially with securing money to bury the power lines, that was huge!

    But he’s dropped the ball big time when it comes to attracting high paying jobs. Besides the hospital I can’t think of a single place in Woodbridge to even attempt to apply for a job that paid a decent wage. Woodbridge is within 5 miles of TWO different main gates for massive military bases and he can’t get one company to open up an office in Woodbridge? What has he been doing for the last 8 years? Sleeping at his desk? I think his total lack of ability to attract jobs to Woodbridge has to be the number one talking point in the next election.

    Where will be in another eight years from now?

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