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Fairfax County’s Plans for the Route 1 Corridor

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Mark Viani and Matt Roberts
BKK Construction & Land Use Newsletter
June 2015

On May 12, 2015, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to endorse a phased, multimodal approach to the future expansion and development of the Route 1 Corridor between Huntington and Fort Belvoir. This will take place in the context of eventual expansions and improvement extending further to Woodbridge. 

This approach, recommended by the Route 1 Multimodal Alternatives Analysis Executive Steering Committee, includes the following components: 1) complete expansion of Route 1 from four to six lanes, 2) provide continuous bike and pedestrian paths and 3) implement Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and a future extension of Metro’s Yellow Line.

Previously, the County and VDOT expanded the portion of Route 1 extending south from the Beltway to Napper Road to six lanes. Separately, the US Government is working to widen Route 1 from four to six lanes beginning at Route 235/Woodlawn area south to and around Fort Belvoir, including significant improvements to the intersection with the Fairfax County Parkway. The result is a four-lane bottleneck extending from Napper Road south to Route 235/Woodlawn. A total of $10 million dollars has been allocated to fund preliminary engineering and an EIS for the expansion of this Napper Road to Route 235/Woodlawn portion of Route 1.

The BRT and Metro recommendations are intended to be implemented in four phases: (i) introduce BRT from the Huntington Metro Station to Hybla Valley, (ii) introduce BRT from Hybla Valley to Fort Belvoir, (iii) introduce BRT from Fort Belvoir to Woodbridge and (iv) extend Metrorail from the Huntington Metro Station to Hybla Valley. While the BRT project will require an Environmental Assessment (EA) to study its impacts, staff intends to evaluate the BRT proposal within the EA for the Route 1 widening between Route 235 and Napper Road.

In conjunction with this endorsement, the Board also authorized amendments to the Comprehensive Plan to consider the impact of BRT and Metro expansion. Staff anticipates this will be a multi-year, public process with special committees formed by citizen groups and the Southeastern Fairfax Development Committee. As to BRT, the Board directed staff to consider land use mix and density within a half mile of proposed stations, urban design, public facilities and transit options. As to Metro, the Board directed staff to consider adding broad language supporting Metro expansion, especially considering urban design, grid of streets, and future planning for Metro stations.

Mark Viani is a shareholder focusing his practice in the areas of land use, real estate, environmental, municipal and other areas of administrative law. Matthew Roberts is an associate attorney practicing in the areas of land use law and real estate. He can be reached at 703.525.4000 or mroberts@beankinney.com.