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Manassas a magnet for creative, performing arts

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The Arts and Tourism District is in Historic Downtown Manassas.

Manassas already boasted the renowned Center for the Arts where visual and performing arts are taught, practiced and displayed as well as the highly regarded local studios and galleries, Creative Brush and ArtBeat. But local artists and community leaders wanted more.

The city council has a vision for Manassas to become known as an arts and cultural center in Northern Virginia, and beyond.

Last year the city converted the hallway on the first floor of City Hall into an art gallery aptly named “The Hall at City Hall.” The gallery has featured paintings, photographic art and works by local art students at Osborn High School and changes artwork every six weeks so there are regularly new displays.

Another example is the banner art displayed on light poles throughout Historic Downtown. The juried competition attracted artists from throughout the Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Sixty of the more than 130 entries were transformed into public art that is on display seasonally until winter.

Historic Manassas Inc., the city’s Virginia Main Street Program, oversaw the project and intends to repeat it annually. The top -ranked submission, as judged by a panel of professional artists, received a $1,000 cash prize and at the end of the season one artist will be awarded the “People’s Choice” prize of $500. Ballots for this are included in a brochure describing each piece and available at the City’s visitor center in the historic train station adjacent to the municipal parking garage.

But it’s not all just about the visual arts.

Manassas also boasts the second largest ballet company in Virginia. The work of the Manassas Ballet Theater is recognized in the national and international press.

This attention helps contribute to Manassas becoming known as a regional arts and tourist destination. Further, Manassas worked closely with George Mason University, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and Prince William County to bring the Hylton Performing Arts Center from dream to reality. The city continues to provide support to ensure the performing arts venue remains an asset for the citizens of Manassas and the surrounding area as well as attracting visitors.

There are many other local performing and visual arts groups and businesses in the city too numerous to mention in this article; all of which exist to teach, promote or display the vibrant culture of this historic yet modern city.

News
Prince William schools surpass Virginia SOL scores

Prince William County Public School students beat the pass rates of counterparts statewide on the latest Standards of Learninga ssessments in almost all subject areas, and across most demographic groups, according to initial results released today by the Virginia Department of Education. [Read more]

Stop commuting to DC! SRA is Hiring!

SRA is seeking qualified professionals who currently hold a DoD TS/SCI clearance to work in the Stafford, VA, area in support of the newly awarded contract, Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) Information Technology Directorate Services (ITDS)

If you are cleared and have one of the following skillsets, we would like to meet you at our recruitment invitational which will take place multiple days next week.  Visit us at www.sra.com/careers where you can create a candidate profile against opportunity 5053: NCIS Event Requisition.  After receiving your resume, a SRA Recruiter will contact you within 24 hours.

We are looking for highly motivated people to fill the following positions:

Information Assurance Engineers Network Engineers
Systems Administrators Business Systems Analysts
Content Administrators Geospatial Engineers
Field Computer Specialists Software Developers
Systems Integrators Software Testers
Requirements Analysts

Database Administrators

User Support Specialists

VOIP Engineers

About SRA International, Inc. 

SRA International, Inc. is a leading provider of sophisticated information technology and professional services to the U.S. federal government. Our services help our government customers address complex IT needs in order to achieve their missions. We are inspired by our customers’ missions and strive to provide the best people, working together to generate the best ideas, to deliver the best possible performance – all driven by our enduring values of Honesty and Service®. SRA was founded in 1978. We are headquartered in Fairfax, VA and employ approximately 5,600 professionals.

The ladies who bring history to life at Civil War Weekend in Manassas

Civil War Weekend is not just about fighting and strategy.  It’s about the upheavals of lives and it’s about the lives of women during the Civil War.  

Living historians will portray Clara Barton, the famous Civil War nurse; Dorothea Dix, an American activist who created the first American mental asylums; Elizabeth Keckley, Mary Todd Lincoln’s seamstress and confidante; the wives of Generals Robert E. Lee, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, and Isaac Trimble.  Barbara Smith and Hendrina Appelt will speak to audiences about the role of women in the war.

Tracey McIntire and Dr. Audrey Scanlan-Teller will speak about the experiences of more than four hundred women who disguised themselves as men and served in the Union and Confederate armies during the Civil War. They will speak not only about individual soldiers, but about gender roles and military culture during the era.

Inside the Manassas Museum, join museum curator Mary Helen Dellinger for Chats with the Curator.  These will highlight unusual items in the Museum collection. Prince William County Historic Site Operations Supervisor Rob Orrison will speak about the joint city-county exhibit, New World Aristocracy: The Carters of Virginia, and guest curator Chesney Rhodes will speak about her exhibit, Partisans Among Playmates: American Childhood and the Civil War.

At nearby Liberia Plantation, 8601 Portner Avenue, stroll through the shade-filled grounds and hear the accounts of well-known Confederate Spy Rose Greenhow, portrayed by Emily Lapisardi. A living historian who has presented historical impersonations in nine states and the District of Columbia, Lapisardi will tell the stories of Liberia’s connection to Civil War spy rings and Greenhow’s ability to glean information from Union admirers. 

Interpreter Marion Dobbins will bring to life a more local slave experience as she presents a portrayal of slave life at Liberia, once the largest slave-holding plantation in the area. Dobbins will also cook over an open fire, and talk about African-American “foodways” and culture.

Check manassasmuseum.org/civilwar for the weekend’s latest schedule.

 

News
5 local spots for great seafood

Looking to savor great seafood without having to go very far to get it?  These hidden hideaways right here in Prince William & Manassas, will transport you to a seaside retreat to indulge in fruity cocktails and fresh seafood. With a wide variety of activities, live music and more there is sure to be something for everyone at one of these local eateries.

Tim’s Rivershore – Located in Woodbridge, this waterfront restaurant sits on one of the widest points of the Potomac River and offers panoramic views of the river. The view can be enjoyed from inside the restaurants dining room, on the outdoor deck or at the torch-lit tiki bar and beach. 

From monthly full moon bonfires on the beach to their annual “Not on the 4th” fireworks display there is a constant flow of events, live music and festivals held here every year. Serving fresh crabs, oysters, scallops, shrimp, mussels, and fish as well as steaks, burgers, pulled pork and chicken sandwiches this family-friendly restaurant is a must visit.

Blue Ridge Seafood – Find a southern twist on traditional seafood dishes in Gainesville, at Blue Ridge Seafood.  From fried frog legs to alligator bites and crawfish you are in for a treat when visiting this southern seafood hideaway.  More traditional fare such as fresh crabs, seasonal fish, hush puppies and french fries are also offered. 

Plan a night out with family and friends to enjoy live music on the back deck or stop in and pick up crabs and hush puppies to enjoy at home.  Their backyard tiki bar is the perfect backdrop to any happy hour too!

Crosby’s Crab Co. – Rated one of the best places to find fresh fish, lobster, crabs and oysters in Northern Virginia by Washingtonian Magazine, Crosby’s Crab Company prides itself on its fresh seafood selection.  In addition to a variety of local seafood to choose from they also have alligator, frog legs and octopus available for the brave and curious.

A more traditional seafood market, they offer carry out service only and can often be found at the Historic Downtown Manassas Farmers Market on Saturdays during the summer months. Crosby’s is open year round to satisfy any seafood cravings.

CJ Finz Raw Bar & Grill – A surf and turf restaurant offering coastal dining with a hometown feel, is what guests will find at CJ Finz Raw Bar & Grill in the heart of Historic Downtown Manassas.  Offering a hint of the Outer Banks in Northern Virginia, diners can relax on the rooftop deck while enjoying freshly shucked oysters or a beer from one of the local breweries.

This family friendly restaurant offers a wide variety of seafood and southern style dishes from fried pickles to oyster po-boy sandwiches. It is a must visit next time you are in the mood for a convenient get away with great food and amazing views.

Madigan’s Waterfront – Whether you are looking for a special place for date night or a unique location for your next private event, this waterfront retreat can accommodate both.  Overlooking the Occoquan River and marina patrons can select from a variety of seafood dishes and seating options that are sure to please. 

The topside deck and tiki bar play host to live music and entertainment throughout the summer months, making it the perfect spot to sit back and relax. From candlelit riverside dining to karaoke and dancing there is a little something for everyone at this restaurant on the river.

To discover more about where to dine and shop visit discoverpwm.com.   

News
Planned park could become Prince William high school site

Elected officials are talking about where to place the 13th high school in Prince William.

At Supervisor Jeannine Lawson’s first press conference, she along with Supervisor Pete Candland and school board member Gil Trenum, spoke about the school possibly being placed on the site that was slated to be Rollins Ford Park in Gainesville.

“All you have to do is look at the statistics on overcrowding – especially at Patriot and Battlefield [high schools]. I really wanted to locate a high school site that was not necessarily dependent on residential proffers, for new residential development. I’m happy to announce…a very strong possibility…of what may be the next high school site for Prince William County’s 13th high school,” said Lawson.

Following this year’s budget cycle, the county board of supervisors directed County Executive Melissa Peacor to send a letter to Superintendent Walts about placing the high school on the park site.

The 69-acre Rollins Ford Park site was meant to hold six athletic fields, according to county documents.

If the proposal was to go through, the athletic fields would then be placed on a 60-acre site which was proffered under the Avendale residential development, stated the letter sent to Walts.

The Avendale site is about five miles away from Rollins Ford Park site, according to Candland.

Since both sites are already county owned land, the county could approve a proffer swap and place the new high school on the park site, stated Lawson.

According to Candland, a 13th high school is needed to deal with the overcrowding in schools in the Gainesville and Brentsville districts.

“Working with the school board this past budget season, we saw an unprecedented move – to try and address the overcrowding in our classrooms. We’ve looked at some very good proposals [for high schools]…the board hasn’t come to a decision on that one, so we had to seek out other opportunities. It is paramount that we find a school site on the western end of the county… We’re already behind on alleviating the overcrowding in western Prince William,” said Candland.

Construction for the new high school was scheduled for completion in 2020, but may be further delayed if they cannot settle on a site, according to the letter sent to Walts.

History comes to life for upcoming Manassas Civil War Weekend

 

Manassas Civil War Weekend is August 21-23

There was much more to the Civil War than bloody battles, endless strategizing, and the stands of famous generals.

This year, in addition to featuring portrayals of well-known generals and studies of tactics, the fourth annual Manassas Civil War Weekend will also bring to life the experiences of women on both the home front and in the conflict.

The weekend’s free events, from August 21-23, promises to engage visitors of all ages and interests with the sights, sounds and scents of Civil War-era Manassas. Speakers and performers will reveal many stories about the stark reality of war.

The weekend begins with a keynote address by well-known Civil War re-enactor Al Stone, who has been portraying General Robert E. Lee for more than 20 years to nationwide audiences. Stone will portray Lee in his reflective post-war years, when he became president of what was then called Washington College in Lexington, Va., later renamed Washington & Lee University. His address begins on Friday, Aug. 21 at 7 p.m. on the Manassas Museum lawn.

Many speakers throughout the weekend will focus on the war’s military experience. Richard Killblane, the United States Army Transportation Historian and author of the war history, The Filthy Thirteen, will talk about the logistics of the war. Re-enactors will portray General William Tecumseh Sherman, General Philip T. Sheridan, General Jubal Early, General John B. Gordan, Major Jed Hotchkiss, and General Samuel Cooper. Earl McElfresh, author of Maps and Mapmakers of the Civil War and cartographer and historian for the McElfresh Map Co., will speak about maps during the Civil War.

To lend a different perspective on the war experience, living historians will also portray Clara Barton, the famous Civil War nurse; Dorothea Dix, an American activist who created the first American mental asylums; Elizabeth Keckley, Mary Todd Lincoln’s seamstress and confidante; the wives of Generals Robert E. Lee, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, and Isaac Trimble; and Barbara Smith and Hendrina Appelt, who will talk about the role of women in the war.

Tracey McIntire and Dr. Audrey Scanlan-Teller will speak about the experiences of more than four hundred women who disguised themselves as men and served in the Union and Confederate armies during the Civil War. They will speak not only about individual soldiers, but about gender roles and military culture during the era.

Visit www.manassasmuseum.org for the weekend’s latest schedule.

News
Leadership Prince William children donate to car crash victim

It was a like a scene from movie.

Greg Powell was in the kitchen making dinner when a knock came on the door. It was a police officer was waiting tell him that his wife and 12-year-old son had been involved in a serious car crash.

Katherine Hennessa, 54, and her son Carson were on their way back home from having ice cream on Route 29 in Gainesville on June 1. Thier car was t-boned by another driver, sending Katherine and Connor to a hospital.

Connor underwent therapy, was released, and is still recovering. Katherine, a teacher at Centreville High School in Fairfax County, remains in the hospital where she was in a coma for six weeks. She’s suffered a post-traumatic brain injury and memory loss.

Greg Powell and his oldest son, Clayton, 15, were on hand Friday at Youth for Tomorrow, where a check for $2,764 was presented. The money is to help the family with medical costs.

“I can’t tell you how much it means to us that you have decided to do this,” Greg Powell told the Leadership Prince William Campers on Friday.

The check came from a group of children who fresh out of the Leadership Prince William Summer Youth Academy, a two-week long camp where area youth are introduced to the workings of local government and business.

Children raised the money during “leadership lemonade,” where two teams of campers competed to see who could sell the most lemonade to raise money for the Powell family. The children selected the Powell family as the benefactors of the event.

The campers graduated from the camp at a special ceremony at Youth for Tomorrow on July 24.

In addition to leadership lemonade, the children toured several locations across the county including the Occoquan Town Hall and the Prince William County Adult Detention Center.

“I’ve never even been to most of these places, or knew they existed,” said one child.

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Haymarket bridge replacement underway

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Work to replace the Old Carolina Road overpass bridge is well underway in Haymarket.

The new $2.7 million bridge will carry drivers on Old Carolina Road onto Jefferson Street in the town, over Interstate 66.

It will be two lanes, and will have shared use paths for bicycling and hiking to connect Piedmont and Somerset Crossing communities on the north side of I-66.

The bridge replaces an old two-lane bridge of the same name.

The new bridge is part of the Interstate 66 widening project that will add one new high occupancy vehicle lane on each direction on I-66, between Route 29 in Gainesville and Route 15 in Haymarket.

“This bridge is a critical artery to our town, and businesses in our town have been impacted since its closure,” said Haymarket Mayor David Leake.

Shops in the town have seen about a 30% reduction in revenue since the old bridge was closed and work on the new bridge began, said Leake.

During construction, drivers must use a the Route 15 bridge over I-66.  That route is congested during the morning and evening rush hours.

Haymarket will also maintain the new lighting that will be installed on the bridge. The lighting will be similar to the lighting scheme in the town, said Leake.

The new bridge is expected to be complete in spring 2016.

Also part of the I-66 HOV lane project, the Catharpin Road overpass is also being reconstructed as part of the project. Virginia transportation officials also estimate a spring 2016 completion date for that project.

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Heavy traffic expected for Quicken Loans tournament in Gainesville

The Quicken Loans National Tournament kicks off today at Robert Trent Jones Golf Course in Gainesville.

More than 100 PGA players, including Tiger Woods, were invited to come participate in the event.

The event is expected to bring traffic congestion on Route 29 in Gainesville.

Prince William police issued this statement:

Quicken Loans National Golf Tournament | Gainesville;
Motorists traveling in and around the area of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club off Lee Hwy and Jiffy Lube Live off Wellington Rd can expect increased traffic and possible delays starting Tuesday in through the weekend during the morning and afternoon commute. Officers will be on site at multiple intersections between both locations to assist with traffic issues. Golf tournament attendees will be directed to park at Jiffy Lube Live via Lee Hwy to University Blvd where shuttle buses will be used to carry them to the venue. Non-event attendees are encouraged to find an alternate route if possible to avoid delays in their commute. Use caution when traveling in the area and follow police direction.

Marriage isn’t a give-and-take. It’s a give-and-give.

Marriage should be serious fun.

That’s the premise behind a series of classes called ‘Married People,’ hosted by Chapel Springs Church in Bristow.

The classes are hosted on Wednesday nights at 7:30 p.m., and are open to all married couples.

Pastor Josh and Leah Wesley both work in the ministry at Chapel Springs, and recently hosted one of the ‘Married People’ classes.

The Wesleys have been married for 15 years, after meeting through a mutual friend in ministry.

“We really became best friends and got to the point where, ‘I just don’t want to live life without you. I don’t want to experience anything about life without you by my side’ and that was it,” said Leah Wesley.

According to Pastor Josh Wesley, the classes are for all married couples who want to make their marriage better.

“We’re trying to help people – not just from the slant of ‘come fix your broken marriage’ – but also we’re being proactive in helping people continue to nurture healthy marriages. Marriage gets a lot of flack for being the ‘ball and chain.’ We really believe that marriage opens and unlocks a lot of opportunities…we’re helping people develop their relationships,” said Pastor Josh Wesley.

Here’s some advice from the Wesleys about marriage.

1. Stop comparing your marriage to other people’s marriages. The way that you have fun and enjoy your lives together is unique.

2. Develop the ability to give.

“Marriage is not a give-and-take. It’s a give-and-give. And when we both are giving equally, everybody’s being blessed,” said Pastor Josh Wesley.

3. Make the decision to put your spouse first every day, and value them.

4. Developing your imagination and creativity, and explore new ways to have fun.

“In marriage we kind of tend to get very hum drum. We tend to do the same thing over and over again. We go to work – we have responsibilities. And we forget to be creative and to spark that love and enjoyment with one another,” said Leah Wesley.

5. Know that marriage requires a lot of hard work.

6. Your marriage needs to be above all relationships, including the relationship with your children and parents.

Chapel Springs Church, with locations in Bristow and Stafford, is committed to offering marriage enrichment opportunities and helping people heal fractured marriages. Next Wednesday, July 29, concludes the “Married People” series with a session at 7:30 pm in the Bristow auditorium. All married couples are welcome to attend.

Free marriage resources.

 

News
Gainesville man goes missing overnight

Prince William police are trying to locate missing 28-year old Gainesville man Mohsan Mahmood.

Mahmood left his home on Collingham Place in Gainesville voluntarily around 11 p.m. on July 21, according to Prince William police.

He is classified as missing and endangered, and may be in need of assistance.

According to Prince William police Mahmood is described as a Middle Eastern male, 5’10” and 160 pounds with a medium build, short black hair, brown eyes and an unshaven face.

News
‘Hybrid’ power line urged for Haymarket

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is not going to spend a lot of money on something just to make a small group of people happy,” said Ray Geier, a Haymarket property owner.

Dominion agrees that the hybrid plan would more to build. An initial cost analysis of the hybrid plan showed a price tag of $140 million to build. Revised estimates show it could cost between $80 and $100 million more to build the hybrid line. And those costs would ultimately be passed along to consumers.

“It could be one customer, it could be 10,000 customers. The fact is we have to meet the demand for electricity in this area,” said Dominion spokesman Charles Penn.

Many who came to the meeting said a data center is a business that typically doesn’t create a lot of jobs, and that it wouldn’t add too much to the economic base of the community. Residents accuse Amazon of attempting to drive up otherwise low electric utility rates in the area.

“It’s Amazon not dealing with rising electricity costs in California,” said Elizabeth Ward, of Haymarket, and who also serves on the Prince William County Soil and Water District Board of Directors.

When it’s built above or below ground, the power line will include several 110-foot tall galvanized steel structures that will support the power lines along the route. Dominion says above-ground lines are more reliable, four to 10 times less expensive than buried lines and have double the life expectancy of a buried line.

Wednesday night’s meeting was the final in a series of public forums held by Dominion over the past year. The utility will take feedback gathered at these sessions and will submit a final report to the SCC in Richmond. That agency will conduct an independent cost analysis and choose which option will be built.

Once the SCC makes a ruling, the new line could take a year and a half to two years to construct.

News
20 orgs win Prince William County arts grants

A total of $193,000 was provided to arts groups in Prince William County. 

The grant money is built into the annual county budget, and is awarded on the recommendation of the Prince William Arts Council County Parks and Recreation Department.

Each organization submitted a grant application. About $270,000 was requested, or about 140% of the total funds available. 

Brentsville District Supervisor Jeanine Lawson questioned whether or not some of the grant benefactors located in Manasssas were being funded by similar grants awarded by that city.

“I don’t have anything against these. I just want to know they’re carrying the weight themselves,” said Lawson.

Prince William County Parks and Recreation Director Debbie Andrew said Manassas does not offer the same type of arts grant as Prince William. She also told Lawson applicants must prove their arts programs regularly serve residents of Prince William County.

And the grant winners are: 

Applicant  Amount awarded
Center for the Arts $50,000
Manassas Ballet $60,000
Youth Orchestras $19,413
Woodbridge Flute $776
Cabin Branch Quilters $3,137
Old Bridge Chamber Orchestra $2,964
Castaways Repertory Theatre $2,301
Prince William Arts Society $886
Manassas Symphony  $10,695
Manassas Chorale $13,453
Woodbridge Dance $3,839
Celebration Singers $2,382
Prince William Little Theatre $5,250
Asaph Dance $5,522
New Dominion Choraliers  $3,618
Bull Run Cloggers $1,382
Woodbridge Music Club $1,211
Woodbridge Comm. Choir  $1,981
Gainesville Ballet $780
Shenandoah Sound $3,410

 

Prince William County welcomes the world to the 2015 Quicken Loans National PGA Tour

  • Prince William County Economic Development
  • Address: 13575 Heathcote Blvd., Suite 240, Gainesville, Va. 20155
  • Phone: (703) 792-5500
  • Website: http://www.pwcecondev.org/
Quicken Loans National PGA Tour , Prince William County

The countdown is on to when the global spotlight will be on Prince William County!

Beginning July 27 and running through to August 2, 2015, the Quicken Loans National PGA Tour will be held at the Robert Trent Jones (RTJ) Golf Club in Prince William County, Virginia. 

The golf tournament, in its ninth year, promises to be a history-making event as some 100,000 spectators attend and an estimated 1 billion households tune in to see 120 PGA TOUR players vie for the $6.7 million purse.  Nestled along the banks of picturesque Lake Manassas, RTJ is a prestigious venue providing world-class amenities and breathtaking scenery. 

The golf course itself is no stranger to professional golf as the birthplace of the Presidents Cup tournament in 1994 and having hosted the tournament three times subsequently in 1996, 2000 and 2005.

The event is a welcomed opportunity to showcase the entire community, not only to visiting patrons, but to the rest of the world.  Spectators, clients and families alike will discover that Prince William County’s abundant economic opportunities are as diverse as the top-flight recreational and cultural amenities, which makes it a unique place to Live. Work. Play and Stay!

Billed as this summer’s largest outdoor party in Prince William County, the tournament promises to provide the ultimate fan experience with upgraded concessions, lawn games, a putting experience for spectators and even private cabanas. 

This year, the tournament will introduce the Quicken Loans National summer concert stage outside of the main entrance gate from Thursday to Saturday, which will feature local bands during tournament week; and the Quicken Loans Hole-in-One House will return for its second year, which will be situated between the 18th green and the clubhouse and will feature live tournament streaming and more.

Beyond the course, Prince William County is also well known for several national outdoor recreation retail destinations – Golfsmith, Gander Mountain, REI and, coming soon – Cabela’s.  The County is home to 21 golf courses including a publicly accessible Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course at the Potomac Shores Golf Club.  It is estimated that the local golf industry generates some $36 million in sales annually and employs over 700 people. 

So the stage is set and the countdown is on.  Come and be part of history being made while basking in the warmth, hospitality and charm of Prince William County.  We look forward to welcoming you to what will undoubtedly be an experience to remember, after which, you will know why we proudly call Prince William County home.

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Virginia to mark completion of Gainesville Interchange Project

The construction project that has spelled headache for commuters for the past four years is complete.

Virginia Transportations Secretary Aubrey Lane will visit Gainesville tomorrow morning to note the completion of the Gainesville Interchange project.

And while orange cones dot the roadway here as crews put the finishing touches on the interchange, it’s important to point out that this $230 million project includes four new bridges, and it separates the traffic on U.S. 29 north and south from Linton Hall and Gallerher roads, and a railroad crossing.

So what we have now in Gainesville, traffic on U.S. 29 flows underneath Linton Hall and Gallerher roads, and it flows over a railroad crossing.

Before the interchange was built, that railroad crossing was the site of multiple train vs. car accidents that took hours to investigate, and caused major traffic delays in the area prior to construction of this interchange.

This interchange is located just south of Interstate 66, so this is a very busy and congested area. With the completion of this $230 million project, traffic officials hope traffic will flow a bit better here in Gainesville.

Lane is expected to join several other officials from Prince William County at 10 a.m. at the Virginia Gateway Shopping Center for a ribbon cutting to herald the completion on of the project. The Gainesville Interchange Project is considered one of the largest highway construction project in the state.

In addition to the four new bridges, a five-foot sidewalk, and 10-foot walking path were also built as part of the project. Ten retaining walls and new highway lighting was added as part of the project.

The new Gainesville interchange is the last in a series of improvements that date back to the early 2000s. That’s when a portion of I-66 was widened from U.S. 29 to Sudley Road and a new interchange at U.S. 29 and I-66 was built.

A total of 87,000 vehicles is expected to pass through the interchange by 2035, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

News
$11M Gainesville library to open in October

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Western Prince William is getting an $11 million library.

The Haymarket/Gainesville Community library – which will be located at the intersection of Route 15 and Lightnet Road – is under construction and will be completed in October 2015, according to Andrew Spence, a spokesman for the Prince William library system.

The location will be 20,000 square feet and will offer their normal range of services, including checkout materials and children’s programming, as well as electronic services.

“In addition to the system’s traditional services, the Haymarket/Gainesville Community Library will provide access to our digital resources (databases, electronic books and magazines, and more), web-based library services (digital catalog), self-checkout, public Internet access, community/room space and wireless public Internet access,” said Spence.

According to Spence, the $11 million in funding for the library came from various sources, including debt financing and proffers.

“A 2006 bond referendum, approved by voters, provides $9,940,000 debt financing for the new Haymarket/Gainesville Community Library. Additionally, Prince William County Government’s General Fund provides $50,000 and developer contributions (proffers) provide $1,823,405 for the new library,” stated Spence.

This library is the second ongoing library project in Prince William, as the Montclair Community Library will also be completed this fall. Spence stated that the library is being built to meet the growing need for the services in the western end of the county.

“The library system recognizes that the Haymarket/Gainesville area has grown over the last decade creating an opportunity to provide this community with increased library services such as literacy materials, community space, reference assistance and civic engagement,” said Spence.

Similar to the new Montclair library, the Haymarket/Gainesville library will have a historic property on the site for visitors to see, called the “Bushy Park House”.

“[The house] is a 200 year-old Gainesville farmhouse planned to become a history interpretive center for our visitors,” said Spence.

Celebrate America in style in Manassas July 4

Fireworks show, watermelon, and pie contests planned 

On Saturday, July 4, 2015, Celebrate America with the City of Manassas from 3 to 10 p.m. in Historic Downtown Manassas.

The celebration begins with the Bicycle Decorating contest. At 5 p.m. visitors are invited to take part in a Watermelon-eating contest.

Next, Judges from around the City will lend their culinary expertise to judge the Apple and Peach Pie Baking Contest. This is Americana at its best. To sign up for these contests, visit visitmanassas.org.

Visitors can bring a blanket or a lawn chair to lay claim to a spot for viewing the best fireworks in Virginia. Beginning at 3 p.m., there will be children’s rides, food vendors, and other vendors. The celebration centers around the Harris Pavilion, the Manassas Museum and the Train Depot.

The City of Manassas loves pets, but pets do not love loud noises. Their ears are more sensitive and the City asks that pets be left at home in the air conditioning. This time of year, streets and sidewalks are hot enough to burn puppy paws.

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Crash stalls Vint Hill Road traffic

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A portion of the southbound lane of Vint Hill Road at was closed a Burwell Road after a crash occurred.

Police directed Vint Hill Road traffic through the parking lot of the Greenwich Presbyterian Church about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. At least two vehicles were involved in the crash — a silver sedan and an SUV.

The crash occurred near the Prince William County / Fauquier County line, near Gainesville.

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