People interested in the U.S. 1 widening project between Featherstone Road and Mary's Way filled the community room, and then some, at the Potomac Community Library during a recent community meeting.
Prince William County's Department of Transportation Director, Tom Blaser, told the crowd of about 100 that the $86-million project — which will widen U.S. 1 from four to six lanes and will include a five-foot sidewalk on the east side of the road and a 10-foot multi-use path along the west side — will be funded by federal, state and local funds. "This is funded through a combination of sources. This is not funded through the Prince William General Fund; your property taxes are not paying for the construction of this road. This is funded through the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, which is combination of sources - gas tax, hotel stays and sales tax."
The county's Department of Transportation will administer the widening project with Rinker Design Associates as the lead engineering firm, Blaser said.
According to staff reports, U.S. 1 in Woodbridge handles more than 40,000 car trips a day with 20,000 cars going north between 6-9 a.m. and 20,000 cars returning south between 4:30-7:30 p.m. The improved road, which will be a divided highway with three lanes on each side of a center median, will replace the configuration as it is now stands, allowing for less congestion once the project is complete.
Woodbridge Supervisor Frank J. Principi said the project will affect everyone along the 1.3-mile route. "It's going to have impacts on all of us, whether or not you're a property owner, a business owner, a resident or you're a commuter."
The widening between Featherstone and Mary's Way is one of three phases that will cost a total of $250 million when everything is complete, Principi said. "All of these projects are moving forward."
The staff report, given to people who attended the meeting, showed that 73 rights-of-way parcels will be impacted by the project. Rights-of-way acquisition negotiations will begin in this fall and will continue through the spring of 2017. Utility relocations will begin in the winter of 2017. In the fall of 2018, an advertisement for construction bids will go out with construction scheduled to be completed by 2021.
The estimated rights-of -way acquisition and utility relocation stands at $56 million. Preliminary engineering will cost an estimated $4 million, and the construction will cost an estimated $26 million, the report showed.
The purpose of the community meeting was to acquaint people with the process, features and plans for the project. Community meetings also allow the county's Department of Transportation to get citizen comments, which assist in determining the design of a project, Blaser said.
People with comments or questions can email email@example.com or mail Sherry Djouharian, Prince William County Department of Transportation, 5 County Complex Court, Suite 290, Prince William, Va., 22192. People may also contact Principi's office at 703-792-7803 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Woodbridge resident Nancy Wolf, who is a member of the Woodbridge Civic Association, said she was glad that the project is funded through the NVTA and is looking forward to its completion, even if it means a bit of hardship along the way. "I don't mind having to go through this construction because I know in the end it's going to be great."
Visit the Prince William County Department of Transportation website to see the full presentation.