Dumfries Route 1 widening design underway

U.S. 1 north in Dumfries. [Photo: Uriah Kiser / Potomac Local News]

DUMFRIES — The Town of Dumfries has submitted a project application to Virginia’s SMART SCALE program, with the intent of widening Northbound Route 1 from a two-lane undivided roadway to a six-lane divided roadway.

The project area is on Route 1 north/Fraley Boulevard between Brady’s Hill Road and Route 234.

According to Claudia Llana, Virginia Department of Transportation Preliminary Engineering Manager, “The proposed Route 1 Dumfries project would extend from Brady’s Hill Road to Possum Point Road, allowing for both Northbound and Southbound traffic to be located on the existing Northbound Route 1.”

The existing southbound Route 1 (Main Street) would then have less traffic, opening up the area to street festivals and walkable downtown shops.

The proposed project is expected to ease traffic congestion during peak hours and improve roadway safety at the intersection at Routes 1 and 234. It also offers expanded bicycle and pedestrian accessibility.

Virginia’s SMART SCALE method scores and prioritizes planned transportation initiatives to pick the right projects for funding thus ensuring the best use of tax dollars. Once projects are scored, the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) selects them for funding.

Currently, the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority has funded only the design effort has for the Dumfries Route 1 project. VDOT staff is completing the design and anticipates that the project team with meet with the Town of Dumfries officials later this year to discuss next steps.

“The project is in design, but with it not receiving funding through SMART SCALE, we will complete the design at a logical place,” Llana said. “This could be reinitiated if funding is found for the remainder of the project.”

According to the application:

The survey, environment, and design process is estimated to go to 2020 and is currently 10 percent complete. Right of Way and Easement Acquisition, Utility Relocation would go from 2021-2024 if approved.

Construction, Oversight, Inspection, Contingencies would go from 2024-2028 if approved.

Funding for the remainder of the project, which would include land acquisitions, utility relocation, and construction, is still required.

The estimated total project cost presented in the most recent SMART SCALE (fall of 2016) application was $191.8 million. The Town of Dumfries will need to reapply and compete later this year for SMART SCALE fiscal year 2024-25 funding to complete the project.

The Larger Picture

According to the SMART SCALE application for Dumfries Route 1 Widening, the proposed typical section for the 2.1-mile project will consist of the six lanes, along with three twelve-foot lanes in each direction and appropriate turn lanes.

The outermost lane in each direction will be fifteen feet wide to accommodate bicycles.

The proposed design will also provide a sixteen-foot raised median with sidewalks and shared use paths on opposite sides of the roadway.

Since the design is categorized as Urban Principal Arterial, the standard 45-mph speed will be designated.

The existing southbound Route 1 (Main Street) is on separate alignment from Northbound Route 1 (Fraley Boulevard) for the majority of the project limits. The separate alignment will be converted to a two-way roadway for local traffic.

The entire segment of the proposed Route 1 Fraley Boulevard widening project is also listed as an Other Locally Designated Growth Area on the application map. The segment of Route 1 at the Route 234 intersection is listed under the application’s Safety category as a high crash location that is ranked number 24 by total crashes, and number 22 for fatal crashes in Northern Virginia.

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