People in the Gainesville area will hear booming and might feel the ground shake a bit as blasting starts Friday at the University Boulevard Park and Ride Lot project, which is currently under construction. The company building the lot has found rock that needs to be removed so that construction can continue.
The park and ride lot is part of the Virginia Department of Transportation's, or VDOT's, Transform 66 Outside the Beltway project, which aims to provide multimodal options along the I-66 corridor. The lot is located at the intersection of University Boulevard and Route 29.
Other than hearing, and maybe feeling the blasts, which will continue through next week, Prince William County residents won't be affected by the blasting, said Prince William County's Department of Transportation Planning and Programming Division Chief Elizabeth Scullin.
The blasting is 300 feet away from any existing roads, so road closures won't be necessary. However, future road closings may occur as work progresses and comes closer to existing roads, Scullin said.
A VDOT representative will be coordinating with the county's Fire and Rescue and Police Departments throughout the operation.
The University Boulevard Park and Ride is scheduled to open with 960 spaces in summer 2019 to support additional carpooling and bus service while Transform 66 construction proceeds, according to VDOT. The lot will have more than 2,000 spaces and provide direct access to the I-66 Express Lanes when they open in December 2022.
The Transform 66 project is adding two express lanes to I-66 in each direction between University Boulevard and I-495, along with making major interchange improvements and adding more than 4,000 park and ride spaces in Prince William County, according to VDOT.