Updated I-66 parallel trail designs were unveiled at a recent meeting hosted by FABB. The Virginia Department of Transportation, Fairfax County DOT, and FAM construction, the private design/build contractor on the Transform66 project, presented the latest details to a packed room of bicycle advocates on February 28. VDOT’s updated designs and presentation to FABB are now available on the Transform66 website. Plans for the I-66 parallel trail and other bicycle and pedestrian improvements as part of the I-66 expansion project are on track to open by December 2022.
Susan Shaw, VDOT’s Transform66 Project Coordinator, offered new details on locations where the trail elevation varies from the roadway, which side of the noise barrier the trail is on and access points to nearby neighborhoods. Where the trail runs alongside the highway at grade, VDOT now plans to use a 50” concrete barrier to separate the trail users from traffic. Shaw added that while the trail may be on the highway side of the noise wall, the trail will run along auxiliary lanes or wide shoulders so trail users will be set back from the main line of highway traffic.
FAM Construction shared their new design proposal for the Nutley Street interchange that offers improved bicycling safety and access. Referred to as the ‘dog bone,’ the new design would reduce the number of thru lanes on Nutley, eliminate the traffic lights proposed for the current diverging diamond plan, and is engineered for lower speeds by using the roundabouts on both ends. It would also provide a grade separated trail along Nutley as well as the I-66 trail.
Chris Wells, FCDOT Bike/Ped Manager, presented details for the off-corridor portions of the trail. Working with VDOT and the Park Authority, they’ve identified funding for the off-corridor projects that will be key in connecting the portions of the trail that are being built as part of the Transform66 project. It was exciting to hear County plans to build a bi-directional cycle track around the Vienna metro and to upgrade other sections of the off-corridor trail to a shared use path so the entire trail will be protected and separated from traffic. The County anticipates the off-corridor projects to be completed at the same time as rest of the trail.
FABB learned that the location of the trail in the Centreville area has changed to provide better access to the town center. The trail will now run from the north side of the Route 28 interchange south and then along Route 29 before reconnecting to the original trail plan in Cub Run. Plans right now are for the trail to end at Compton Rd, near Bull Run Events center.
Public meetings are being planned for Spring 2019 so stay tuned for more details. You can also stay up to date on FABB’s I-66 page.