The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority voted Thursday, July 15 to grant $20 million toward a new flyover interchange at Route 7 and Battlefield Parkway in Leesburg.
“If you take out the Interstate 66-Route 28 project [a $300 million project to improve an intersection in Fairfax], it was the second-largest amount granted to one locality, so that’s pretty good,” said county Chairwoman Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large), the Board of Supervisor’ voting representative on the NVTA.
NVTA staff had originally recommended the project receive no funding this year; the $20 million covers about half of the project’s remaining $45 million and, according to Loudoun representatives on the NVTA, all but guarantees more funding next year. Randall said she has received assurances from Virginia Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne.
“[Layne] couldn’t say that they will guarantee it that all of the funding will come, but he did make the point that once NVTA starts funding a project, it’s important to have that project continue,” Randall said.
She credited Loudoun County officials and staff and Leesburg residents, in large part, for swaying the NVTA.
“For the most part, it was the fact that Leesburg residents and Loudoun County officials showed up to the public hearing and spoke so eloquently of the need for some relief at Battlefield, and how congested and dangerous this intersection was,” Randall said.
Senator Richard H. Black (R-13) said the vote “will start the process of clearing out the last traffic light along Route 7 in Loudoun County.” The Battlefield Parkway intersection is the last signalized, at-grade intersection on Route 7 between Berryville and Route 28.
“We actually have acquired a good bit of clout,” Black said. “This was my first meeting on the NVTA, so now we have myself, we’ve got [Delegate] Randy Minchew (R-10), and we’ve got [Chairwoman] Phyllis [Randall] on there, so we’ve got several voices. And then we’ve also got allies.” Black said the county is now “fairly well postured to be well-represented on the NVTA.”
The county had previously received $13 million for an interchange design study, and work on the intersection is now expected to begin in the next year.