Traffic & Transit
Traffic Updated: ‘Can VDOT improve the signage and signals to clarify turns on red …on Purcell Road at VA Route 234 to avoid confusion from drivers?’
Submitted by Daniel Foose, of Prince William County:
With recent completion of construction on Purcell Road, there are now three lanes instead of two where Purcell Road ends at VA Route 234. Two of the three are right turn lanes on Purcell.
At the signal, the leftmost right turn lane is marked with a “red light” signal indication and a sign that says “No Turn on Red from This Lane” and the rightmost right turn lane is marked with a “right red arrow” signal indication.
According to the Virginia Driver’s Manual, published by the DMV, “Virginia law prohibits right and left turns at red arrow lights” unless “signs are posted at the intersection that read ‘Right on Red Arrow After Stop’ or ‘Left on Red Arrow After Stop.’” (source: ). Both signals display “right green arrow” indications.
It is rather curious, then, that VDOT has chosen to display the signals and signage in this convoluted manner, rather than placing a general sign stating “No Turn on Red” if the intention were to prohibit all turns on red.
If the intention were to, instead, allow right turns on red in the rightmost right lane, it would be better to have signage or signals that clearly indicate that one can do so. This is how most drivers appear to be treating the lane, though the “right red arrow” signal makes this illegal.
Can VDOT improve the signage and signals to clarify turns on red in the rightmost right turn lane on Purcell Road at VA Route 234 to avoid confusion from drivers?
Got a traffic question, concern, or gripe? Send it to email@example.com and put “traffic” in the email subject line.
This is a Prince William County Department of Transportation road project, not VDOT.
Here’s a statement from the department’s director Rick Canizales:
“We are literally working on resigning the entire intersection. Right now there are no u-turns allowed on Rt 234, but that will change and signage to advise about right turns on red will be included at the same time. This will be happening within 30 days, awaiting VDOT approval and sign manufacturing.”
From Virginia State Police:
Virginia state Police troopers remain busy this evening as the temperatures continue to drop and roadways remain frozen. Virginians are encouraged to avoid traveling overnight and on through tomorrow morning due to the continuing and very serious threat of black ice and treacherous road conditions. Any roads that thawed earlier today due to being cleared will refreeze tonight. Stuck, disabled vehicles continue to be the greatest problem on Virginia’s highways…
As of 6 p.m. Saturday, State Police have only one reported traffic fatality. Fortunately, the majority of crashes have involved only damage to vehicles.
From midnight Saturday through 6 p.m. Saturday, Virginia State Police have responded to 527 traffic crashes and 686 disabled vehicles statewide. During the same time period, Virginia State Police have received a total of 2,082 calls for service.
As of 6:15 p.m., troopers are still on scene of 16 traffic crashes and 23 disabled vehicles statewide.
Division II–Culpeper (Fredericksburg/Culpeper/Warrenton/Harrisonburg/Winchester)
Division VII-Fairfax (Prince William/Loudoun/Arlington/Alexandria/Fairfax)
Submitted by Prince William County:
Commuters and residents who travel the Route 28 corridor will be happy to know that the project that included the widening of Route 28 and the Vint Hill Road realignment is now complete. The Board of County Supervisors will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday, Jan. 9, at 11 a.m. to officially open the road.
The project realigned Vint Hill Road so that the new, four-lane, divided road intersects with Route 28 at Bristow Village Boulevard. The project also widened Route 28 for about a mile between Linton Hall Road and the realigned Vint Hill Road. Both roads now have shared use paths that run beside them.
The project, which was funded by a combination of county, state and federal funds and completed under budget, included asphalt paving, marking pavement, traffic signs and traffic signal installation, sound walls construction, rock blasting, utility relocation and placing a stormwater management pond.
UPDATE: Due to weather, the DDI will not open this weekend. If weather conditions are favorable, the DDI will open at 9 a.m. Jan. 14, with an overnight closure beginning at 8 p.m. Jan. 13.
The DDI was originally supposed to open last month. This is the second time the opening has been delayed.
The text of an email from Occoquan District Supervisor Ruth Anderson to Prince William County Public Works Director Thomas Brunn:
“A few weeks ago, I was alerted to a problem with “lack of lighting” at the Chinn Center bus stop shelter……….both in early mornings and after dark in the evenings. I did meet with Perrin from PRTC after dark one evening to confirm that it is a problem. I do know from a previous experience that there are some folks who “hang out” in this area…so, good lighting is needed.
I checked with PRTC hoping they could add some light inside the shelter. Could someone assess if it is possible to change the direction of the light that is already on the Aquatic Center building? If it is possible…it might solve the problem. If not……….could Public Works work with PRTC to see if one of the other options is workable? I’m not certain how the transfer of budget money works for something like this…or, who would take the lead.”
A response to Anderson from (now retired) parks and recreation director Debbie Andrew:
“The stop is on park property, right out in front of the Chinn Center. I will ask staff to make a recommendation for resolving this. It might be as easy as re aiming the lights that are already there. I am going to forward this to Gary Rzepecki for resolution.”
The problem of poor lighting at the Chinn Aquatics Center PRTC Bus Shelter was quickly resolved with a joint effort by Parks and Recreation, Public Works and PRTC working together. Parks and Rec installed a new light that shines directly into the Bus Shelter (photos attached). The problem came up initially at one of our Old Bridge Rd. Congestion Think Tank meetings. Although it was not an issue directly related to solving congestion…we acted on it because for public transit to be “user friendly”, it must be safe all along the routes…including the bus shelters. PRTC came up with recommendations, I sent them to Public Works who in-turn worked with Parks and Rec to install lighting.
— Prince William Co PD (@PWCPoliceDept) January 3, 2017
One person was flown to a hospital following the incident. A white powder found at the scene was determined to be laundry detergent, said Prince William police spokesman Nathan Probus.
More as we have it.
UPDATE: Route 1 is now open. Drive safely.
— Prince William Co PD (@PWCPoliceDept) January 3, 2017
Pile driving will be taking place along Route 1 for construction of the new bridge over Marumsco Creek just north of Marys Way.
The pile driving is scheduled to occur between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. daily Tuesday, Dec. 27 through Friday, Dec. 30 and Tuesday, Jan. 3 through Friday, Jan. 6.
Crews will be monitoring noise levels associated with the pile driving in order to minimize disruption to nearby businesses and residences.
The work is part of the Route 1 widening project, which will add a third lane in each direction between Marys Way and Annapolis Way. The project is scheduled for completion in fall 2019.
Submitted by Prince Willaim Conservation Alliance:
On December 7, the Virginia Commonwealth Transportation Board unanimously approved all Prince William roads proposed for Virginia Scenic Byway status, a first for our county.
These new Scenic Byways boast 11 nationally recognized historic sites, two state listed historic sites, mountain vistas, and minimally visible development.
Two of the roads, John Marshall Highway and Waterfall Road, connect to existing Virginia Byways in Fauquier County. All provide an attractive driving experience and showcase the beauty of Prince William’s Rural Crescent.
* Waterfall Road from the Fauquier County line east to the intersection of Antioch Rd.
* Antioch Road from the Route 601 intersection south to Route 55
* John Marshall Highway from Route 681 to the Fauquier County line
* Aden Road between Route 619 and Route 28
* Bristow Road between Joplin Road (Route 619) and Route 28
* Joplin Road – between Bristow Road and 1-95
Virginia Scenic Byways are a part of the state’s tourism promotional strategy to stimulate local economies and included in Virginia’s Map of Scenic Roads, the Virginia Outdoors Plan and the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation Scenic Byways website.
WOODBRIDGE, Va. — Despite the majority of the Virginia Railway Express Board leaning toward killing a proposed commuter rail extension to Haymarket, Chairman Gary Skinner decided not to take a vote on the matter.
Skinner instead took an informal poll of Board members Friday morning on whether to continue studying an 11-mile expansion of VRE service from Manassas to Gainesville and Haymarket or to adopt an alternative by relocating the railroad’s Broad Run station about a mile east, closer to Manassas City.
“You can take back to your Board tell them the majority of the [VRE Operations] Board sits on the Broad Run extension,” Skinner told fellow Board member and Prince William County Supervisor Marty Nohe.
Nohe said he spoke for his Board, the Prince William Board of Supervisors who say they need more time to review what development could someday be built in the areas of Innovation Park outside Manassas, in Gainesville, and Haymarket.
Relocating the Broad Run Station would increase ridership. But an extension to Gainesville could increase economic development opportunities in Prince William County.
“Should we relocate Broad Run? This is not the only question we on the Board of Supervisors are going to ask,” said Nohe. “It’s been suggested that an extension to Innovation [Park] or Haymarket or Gainesville would have, on balance, a bigger impact on county’s econmic development, and that is a factor we need to take into consideration.”
The Broad Run relocation alternative, recommended by VRE staff and placed on today’s Operations Board agenda for a vote, would move the station at the Manassas Regional Airport to the area near Godwin Drive and Route 28.
The old station and its parking lot would be replaced by an expanded rail storage yard, which would allow VRE to park and operate 22 trains on the Manassas line — up from the today’s 16-train operation.
If VRE is extended to Gainesville, but not Haymarket, the Broad Run Station would remain in its current location. A new rail storage yard could be built near Innovation Park. Doing both — relocating Broad Run and extending VRE to Gainesville — is not expected to grow ridership.
“Building new stations doesn’t grow ridership. Running more trains does because you open up more seats and attract new riders,” added Nohe.
Nohe hopes the Prince William County Board of Supervisors will weigh its options and make a decision by early January, in time for the next VRE Operations Board meeting.
Putting more trains on the Manassas line will open up seats for commuters in Fairfax County whom today may choose not to use VRE because trains are full by the time they at the Burke Station.
“In Fairfax, we’re built out and we’re ready to go. The train is leaving the station, and we need to make a decision now,” said John Cook, a Fairfax County Supervisor who serves on the VRE Board.
A VRE study found that an extension to Gainesville or Haymarket would not attract as many riders between now and 2040 as originally anticipated. Extending VRE to Haymarket could cost as much as 4660, million, about $40,000 per new rider. The project would not be eligible for federal funding as transit officials had hoped.
“We don’t believe, given the numbers, that we have the extension would be eligible for federal funding, and that was a key assumption of our plan,” said VRE’s Christine Hoffner, who is leading the Gainesville-Haymarket Extension Study.
HAYMARKET, Va. — The opening of the new diverging diamond interchange is delayed until January 7 due to weather, according to a statement from the Virginia Department of Transportation.
The state held a series of meetings to teach drivers how to use the interchange, which places traffic on the opposite side of the road and removes all left turns.
Prince William County supervisors will vote December 13 on a resolution that could freeze Virginia Railway Express (VRE) service and block future expansion. If approved, the resolution would prioritize local funding for new road construction instead of expanding commuter rail service.
The resolution is based on the results of the Phase I study of the proposed Gainesville-Haymarket extension. The numbers caught VRE’s staff by surprise. The projected benefits are far lower than expected.
The projected costs of building 11 miles of new track and three new stations, at Innovation, Gainesville, and Haymarket exceed half-a-billion dollars. VRE personnel have consistently claimed that Federal and state grants can somehow cover those one-time costs, but acknowledge that the annual operating costs are the key constraint.
Local jurisdictions subsidize 50% of the annual operating costs. Each rider on a VRE train pays only half the cost when they purchase the ticket; the other half is funded by the taxpayers.
Prince William County decided in 2016 to use a portion of its Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVYTA) funding, generated by extra taxes approved by the General Assembly in 2013, to pay for its share. County staff are concerned that the VRE subsidy could grow to the point that the county would have to find another source, beyond the NVTA funding, to match new road construction grants from state and Federal sources.
The Phase I study revealed that the cost-effective alternative for VRE is to relocate the Broad Run station at the end of the Manassas Line, moving it to Godwin Road. It would attract over 2,500 more round-trip passengers each day.
Expanding VRE west to Haymarket would be inconsistent with land use plans to preserve the Rural Area, and would attract only 555 more round-trip passengers/day compared to relocating Broad Run. Local operating costs for the Haymarket alternative would require an additional $9 million/year for just those extra 555 passengers, an annual subsidy of over $16,000/year per passenger.
VRE cannot stay at the current Broad Run station and add more trains. Relocating the station to Godwin Road and removing the existing passenger platform would allow VRE to expand the railyard.
Without relocation, VRE could not add the planned three additional trains in morning and evening rush hours, and park/service them at Broad Run. Without railyard expansion, VRE could never grow in the future to become a transit system offering service throughout the day, rather than just at rush hour.
The “do nothing” alternative might save money in the short run, but the solution to traffic congestion in Prince William/Manassas/Manassas Park is not just “build more roads.” Passenger rail is a key option for commuters, especially as the costs skyrocket for using I-66 after tolls are added.
Expanding VRE to offer service during the day is also a key option for attracting businesses offering high-paying jobs to locate south of the Occoquan River. Those businesses depend upon workers living in the urban core, and those workers depend upon transit. Economic development of Manassas Park, Manassas, and Prince William would be enhanced by Transit Oriented Development around VRE stations, but that development depends upon increasing the number of trains running throughout the day.
The Phase I study shows that it would be fiscally irresponsible to support extending VRE to Innovation, Gainesville, or Haymarket. The “do nothing with VRE, build roads instead” alternative proposed by County staff would be short-sighted as well.
On December 13, the Board of County Supervisors should support VRE adding more trains rather than more track, and endorse further study in Phase II of the option to relocate the Broad Run station.
GAINESVILLE, Va. — It doesn’t look good for commuters in Haymarket and Gainesville hoping to trade the highway for the rails.
The cost to extend Virginia Railway Express service 11 miles west from Manassas to Gainesville and Haymarket appears to outweigh the benefits. The price tag to build the extension to Haymarket is estimated to be as much as $660 million, with the project is expected to bring in a total of only 16,460 new riders by 2040.
Factoring in the combined capital and operating costs, the project would cost an estimated $16.61 per rider who would use the line and about $40,000 per each new rider gained by 2040. It would also cost $45 million annually to run.
“We were a little surprised,” said VRE’s Christine Hoeffner, who is leading the commuter railroad’s Gainesville / Haymarket expansion study team. “We thought we would see an increase in the number of anticipated riders with an extension all the way to Haymarket.”
The projected capital costs are lowered a bit if VRE were to choose not to extend the train to Haymarket. If VRE built only one station at Innovation Park, or one or two stations in Gainesville, down from the proposed four, Capital estimates for up to three stations on the line hover steadily between $570 and $630 million.
Limitations on development in Haymarket and Gainesville set by the Prince William County Board of Supervisors when it created the Rural Crescent in 1998 and similar policies in neighboring Fauquier County will limit the number of new homes to be built. The commuter railroad would rely on growth in these areas to attract new riders.
The proposed extension also comes at the same time the Virginia Department of Transportation next year will begin construction on a project to widen Interstate 66 and add E-ZPass Express Lanes. For the first time, commuters on I-66 will be able to pay a toll to get out of traffic, or carpool in the lanes for free while riding in vehicles of three or more occupants.
Like all transportation projects, the 11-mile VRE extension comes down to money. The project would be eligible to have 50% of its construction cost paid with federal funds. But VRE leaders are pessimistic due to the project’s high cost and low return on the number of new riders.
“This is a competitive funding process, and with the extension, we don’t believe it would be successful going through the federal funding process,” said Hoeffner.
With a lack of federal funds, VRE would be ever more reliant on state and local sources of financing.
“Prince William County has the highest subsidy in VRE of any other jurisdiction,” said Supervisor Jeanine Lawson. “We cannot pay for the extension because that $6 million additional tax dollars coming out. That’s a hefty price to pay for such a short extension.”
Moving the Broad Run Station
Instead of a VRE extension in Prince William, the option of relocating the Broad Run Station at the Manassas Airport about a mile and a half east closer to the city remains popular. The relocated station would sit on the Prince William County / Manassas City line, and it would serve Innovation Park in the county and the soon-to-be-developed Gateway project on Godwin Drive in the city.
A rail yard at Broad Run would be expanded after the station is moved to make room more locomotives and railcars, dubbed “rolling stock.” VRE could then increase the number of trains that serve the Manassas line from 16t to 22 per day, clearing the way for a possible midday shuttle train service between Manassas and Alexandria. For the first time, VRE would act like a Metro train with bi-directional service during the day if the shuttle is offered.
“If you think about how transportation nodes, like metro, there at facilities where people can get on and off, they’re important. That’s why they’re expanding the silver line to Dulles and out into Loudoun [County], said Manassas Mayor Hal Parrish. “VRE, though it’s not metro, it does provide the opportunity for people to get into D.C.”
With a mix of new townhomes, condos, office, retail, spaces, and a planned 125-room hotel slated to be built at Gateway, adding a VRE station to the mix could be a catalyst for more neighborhood growth. Residential and commercial development in the Lorton area of Fairfax County was spurred, in part, by the VRE station, Hoffner adds.
A groundbreaking ceremony for the Manassas Gateway project is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. The Prince William County Board of Supervisors will have their say on whether or not to endorse the VRE extension at a meeting at 2 p.m. the same day.
The VRE Operations Board will meet on December 16 to make their final recommendation how to proceed, with building the full extension or relocating the Broad Run station being options on the table. Hoeffner and her Gainesville / Haymarket Extension study team will continue working through 2017 to examine the alternatives selected by the VRE Operations Board members.
Traffic Nokesville’s new bridge project may not provide the additional road capacity we thought it would
NOKESVILLE, Va. — A new bridge on Aden Road may not provide additional lane capacity as promised.
The new one-lane bridge that replaces an old one-lane truss bridge over railroad tracks in Nokesville will open on Wednesday.
A new Aden Road bridge over the Norfolk Southern Railroad in Prince William County will open to one-lane traffic on Wednesday, Dec. 7, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).
The crossing has been closed since May 2015 in order to repair the historic 134-year-old wrought-iron truss bridge. VDOT originally planned to repair the truss bridge and reopen it for northbound use, however, upon removal, the bridge showed substantial structural deficiencies. The extensive repairs needed to return the truss bridge to service for vehicles would also remove it from the National Register of Historic Places.
VDOT is working with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources and the community to determine how the old truss bridge will be preserved and used to pay homage to its history in the future.
A detour that routed drivers down Marsteller Drive into Nokesville during construction of the new bridge is no longer in place.
The original plan to build the new bridge, and put the old bridge back into service to carry cars at a total cost of about $5 million. The old bridge was taken to Florida for restoration work. after workers found more-than-expected damage on the old bridge. Now, officials said the old bridge could be used as a pedestrian-only crossing.
From VDOT spokeswomen Ellen Kamilakis:
“The truss bridge will come back from Florida, but the decision has not been made as to its function. If we were to repair it to the standard that it could carry vehicles, it would no longer meet the requirements for the National Register of Historic Places. If we put it back in service as a pedestrian bridge, pedestrian facilities would need to be constructed. The discussion is in process between the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, VDOT, the community, and other stakeholders to determine the course of action.”
Brentsville Supervisor Jeanine Lawson was under the impression that the old bridge would be put back into use for cars.
“We have some questions for VDOT,” stated a spokeswoman in Lawson’s office.
VDOT will return to the old bridge span to Nokesville where it will carry cars next to the new bridge opening Wednesday, according to a spokeswoman for Brentsville District Supervisor Jeanine Lawson.
QUANTICO, Va. — A portion of Interstate 95 south at Quantico was closed at 6:55 a.m. for a fuel spill clean up following a crash involving two trucks.
More from VDOT:
All lanes of Interstate 95 southbound have closed again near Quantico Marine Corps Base in Stafford County to allow crews to remove a tractor-trailer, truck and spilled diesel fuel from an earlier crash.
All lanes of I-95 southbound are closed at mile marker 147, just south of Exit 148/Quantico. Additionally, the on-ramp to I-95 southbound from Exit 148/Quantico is closed.
I-95 southbound traffic is being detoured to Route 1 southbound at Exit 148/Quantico. Traffic can re-enter I-95 southbound from Route 1 at Exit 143/Garrisonville.
The left lane of Interstate 95 southbound has re-opened at mile marker 147 in Stafford County, just south of Exit 148/Quantico.
The left lane of Interstate 95 southbound has re-opened at mile marker 147 in Stafford County, just south of Exit 148/Quantico.
From Quantico Marine Corps Base Capt. Joshua Pena:
The military vehicle and M777 Howitzer artillery cannon involved in the incident this morning on I-95 were part of a Marine Corps convoy in route to Fort Pickett for training from The Basic School aboard Marine Corps Base, Quantico. The remainder of the vehicles, equipment, and all uniformed personnel assigned to the convoy have returned safely to base. There are no serious injuries reported.
GAINESVILLE, Va. — The state will fund a new bus route for commuters in Gainesville.
“A new state-funded commuter bus route linking Gainesville directly with the Pentagon will start operating on Monday, December 12, encouraging western Prince William County residents to share their commutes as plans proceed to build Express Lanes on I- 66.
The new Gainesville-Pentagon OmniRide route will be offered by the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC), which provides commuter and local bus services and encourages ridesharing in Prince William County and the Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park. All funding for the new route is being provided by the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC) as part of its efforts to move more people and reduce traffic congestion on I-66 Inside the Beltway.
Also starting on December 12, PRTC’s existing Manassas OmniRide commuter bus service will be split into two separate routes – one serving Washington, D.C., and the other serving the Pentagon. The split will benefit all Manassas OmniRide passengers by providing:
— More reliable on-time performance;
— Shorter travel times to and from D.C.;
— Increased rider capacity without higher operating costs; and
— A better chance of having a seat on afternoon/evening trips leaving the Pentagon because buses will be starting the route at that point.
In addition, the Manassas-Washington route will offer service to a new destination: L’Enfant Plaza.
PRTC updates its schedules twice annually to reflect current running times and changes in routing. Once the December 12 service change takes effect, PRTC will have a total of 18 commuter bus routes and seven local bus routes in the Prince William County area. Updated maps and timetables for all PRTC routes will be available in early December.’
HAYMARKET, Va. — State transportation officials want you to know how to use the new diverging diamond interchange opening this month.
The Virginia Department of Transportation invites local residents and drivers to attend one of two upcoming meetings to learn about the opening of northern Virginia’s first Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI) at Interstate 66 and Route 15.
Wednesday, Dec. 7 and Tuesday, Dec.13 – Bull Run Middle School cafeteria, 6308 Catharpin Road, Gainesville, VA. Both meetings start at 6:30 p.m. and feature a brief presentation at 7 p.m. and an interactive DDI walk-through.
Although construction on the overall project is ongoing until summer 2017, the new DDI alignment is scheduled to open on Saturday, Dec. 17, weather permitting. The interchange will be closed the night before for final lane striping.
The DDI’s innovative bow-tie design shifts vehicles to the opposite side of the road and eliminates left turns that cross oncoming traffic. Two-phase traffic signals at each end of the interchange reduce time spent at red lights and move twice the number of vehicles as a traditional diamond interchange. VDOT recently completed its first two DDIs in Louisa and Roanoke, and has two more in the works in Blacksburg and Stafford.
— Barb Fraze (@bfraze) November 29, 2016
At least one crash on Old Bridge Road near the intersection of Tanyard Hill Road, prior to Clipper Drive, snarled traffic in eastern Prince William County.
Police and fire and rescue crews were working the crash scene about 6:30 p.m.
Traffic on westbound Old Bridge Road was backed up for about two miles, from the crash scene to Route 123. Traffic headed south on Route 123 toward Interstate 95 was backed up 10 miles, from Old Bridge Road, across the Route 123 bridge into Fairfax County.
We’re working to get info from Prince William police about the crash.
GAINESVILLE, Va. — Police are working a serious crash involving a
tractor trailer a large truck in the area of Interstate 66 and Route 29 in Gainesville.
More from Prince William police spokesman Nathan Probus:
“Serious crash involving a vehicle which became trapped underneath a truck. Two victims were trapped with serious, life threatening injuries. Road will be closed for some time.”
The crash is located on the northbound lanes of Route 29.
The exit ramp from I-66 west to north Route 29, Exit 43B, was closed due to the crash, according to initial reports.
Update 12:25 p.m.
Two people were killed in a crash in Gainesville this morning.
The unidentified victims were killed when a heavy-duty truck crashed into their sedan.
The driver of the truck suffered was injured.
More as we have it.
Update 12:35 p.m.
Double Fatal Crash Investigation – On November 28 at 9:48AM, investigators from the Crash Investigation Unit responded to the area of Lee Hwy and Heathcote Blvd in Gainesville (20155) to investigate a crash. The investigation revealed that the driver of a 1999 Honda Accord was traveling northbound on Lee Hwy approaching Heathcote Blvd when the vehicle struck the rear of a Kenworth delivery truck which was stopped at the intersection. The driver of the Honda Accord and a child seated in the backseat of the vehicle were pronounced dead on scene. The driver of the truck remained at the scene and was not injured. Both deceased occupants of the Honda were transported to the Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy. The identities of the deceased will be released once their family has been notified. No charges are pending at this time. The investigation continues.
The driver of the 1999 Honda Accord was identified as a 32-year-old man of Gainesville
The child occupant of the 1999 Honda Accord was identified as a 2-year-old boy of Gainesville
The driver of the Kenworth truck was identified as a 46-year-old man of Stafford
Updated 3:20 p.m.
Double Fatal Crash Investigation *VICTIMS IDENTIFIED – Investigators with the Crash Investigation Unit have positively identified the victims of today’s earlier fatal crash as Daniel Sasha VELASCO, 32, and Ronin William VELASCO, 2, both of Gainesville.
LAKE RIDGE, Va. — Drivers at Old Bridge and Minnieville roads will soon get some relief ahead of the opening of a new grocery store.
The left turn lanes at the intersection that carry drivers from Old Bridge Road to Minnieville Road will be extended 100 feet toward Clipper Drive. The improvements, to be paid for by the developer of a new Lidl grocery store to be built nearby, will allow between eight and 10 more cars to queue in the lanes. That’s in addition to the queue that already exists during the peak weekday evening rush hour times.
Right now, left-turning traffic backs up and out into Old Bridge Road. The lane extension comes after county transportation crews doubled the number of left turn lanes here from one to two.
Drivers at Old Bridge Road and Prince William Parkway will also see the addition of a new sign urging drivers to take a shorter route to Interstate 95. Drivers headed east on the Parkway at Old Bridge Road will soon see a sign that states “To I-95” directing them to veer to the right to remain on the wider, faster Prince William Parkway and not to stay straight on Old Bridge Road.
These two fixes were some of 50 ideas on how to improve transportation along major commuter thoroughfare Old Bridge Road, discussed at Occoquan District Supervisor Ruth Anderson’s Old Bridge Road Think Tank that met over the course of four meetings, with nearly 50 residents in attendance.
“We have to step out and start somewhere to make a difference to fix transportation issues in the district,” said Anderson, as she thanked Think Tank participants for participating in the ongoing effort.
Other traffic improvement ideas are borne out of the meetings include:
Add “Don’t Block the Box” sign at Route 123 and Old Bridge Road
Traffic at this intersection (better known as a mixing bowl) is marred with drivers exiting Interstate 95 and entering Route 123, mixing with drivers existing drivers on Route 123 headed toward Fairfax County, or those turning left onto Old Bridge Road.
The area is a nightmare for drivers in afternoons, and it can be hairy for commuters during morning hours, too. Drivers exiting I-95 quickly jet across five lanes of traffic, to include two signal lights, to turn left on Old Bridge Road
A “don’t block the box” sign could potentially improve traffic flow at the intersection, said Prince William County Transportation Director Rick Canizales.
But signs can’t fix everything.
“It really comes down to how much [police] enforcement you have at the intersection,” he added.
Old Bridge Road and Oakwood Drive
The extension of a left turn lane from Old Bridge Road to Oakwood Drive is being studied. While transportation planners aren’t completely sold on the idea of extending the lane because they don’t know how much more queuing spaces would be gained, they say an extension could resolve a backup on Old Bridge Road during the evening hours.
Expanding or widening left turn lanes at Old Bridge Road and Westridge Drive
Just like the proposed project at Oakwood Drive, officials are not clear on how much more queueing space would be gained if the lanes were expanded. The project could resolve a backup that affects drivers at all times of the day.
Occoquan and Old Bridge roads
The majority of traffic complaint calls to Supervisor Anderson’s office are about the backup at a signal light at Occoquan and Old Bridge roads, said Alex Stanley, and aide to Anderson.
Drivers say they don’t appreciate the extended length of time they must wait at a signal light to turn onto Old Bridge Road. Becuase of the way the signal light is timed, drivers on the wider Old Bridge Road enjoy a longer green light at this intersection. The aim is to move more cars on Old Bridge Road, said Virginia Department of Transportation Land Use Director Richard Burke.
Transportation planners are examining what it would cost to add a “right turn on red” lane at this intersection, as well as straighten Occoquan Road, which is curved throughout its intersection with Old Bridge Road.
Utility poles located along Occoquan Road east of Old Bridge Road, as well as steep terrain, would increase the cost of the project, Canizales said.
WOODBRIDGE, Va. — A multi-phase effort to widen Prince William Parkway in Woodbridge is complete.
The Prince William County Department of Transportation this month finished work on removing an island in the eastbound lanes of Prince William Parkway and Minnieville Road in Woodbridge. With the island gone, drivers headed toward I-95 can make use of all three lanes of the eastbound parkway, which was widened between Minniville and Old Bridge roads last fall.
From Prince William County Transportation Director Rick Canizales:
The Prince William Department of Transportation is happy to have completed the final phase of the Prince William Parkway widening from Old Bridge Road to Minnieville Road. This final phase allows for the all three lanes of the Parkway to continue through the Minnieville intersection, allowing for a free flow movement of all three lanes through the intersection and increasing capacity by 30%. The project eliminated a bottleneck and a through-lane that turned into a right-turn lane at Minnieville. The intersection on the new leg now consists of two left-turn lanes, three through-lanes and a right-turn lane.
This was the third and final phase of widening Prince William Parkway in eastern Prince William County.
Last fall, county leaders celebrated a $15 million project that saw the widening of the parkway between Minnieville and Old Bridge roads. In August 2011, transportation celebrated the completion of a $10.4 million project to widen the portion of the parkway between Hoadly and Old Bridge roads.
Prince William Parkway is six lanes between Route is now six lanes between Interstate 95 and Hoadly Road.