One of the biggest chokepoints and most crash-prone intersections in Leesburg could look a lot different in the next 10 years. Town Council members Monday were given a snapshot of the design options for the future Battlefield Parkway/East Market Street interchange. Construction is planned to begin in 2021.
VDOT representatives were on hand during the council’s work session to present the options both for the Battlefield interchange, and Rt. 7’s nearby signalized intersection at Cardinal Park Drive.
Four options for each intersection were presented, each with its own pros and cons in terms of its ability to move traffic efficiently, impede local utilities, provide effective bicycle and pedestrian enhancements, and impact local properties.
VDOT hopes to have a final design approved by next spring, with the preferred alternatives identified this year.
The $58 million project has $33 million in funding secured. Capital Projects Manager Tom Brandon said the town hopes to apply again in 2018 for more funding from both Northern Virginia Transportation Authority and VDOT’s Smart Scale funding program. The total cost of the project will be refined once the preferred design alternatives are determined, VDOT Engineer Jim Zeller said.
Options for the Battlefield/East Market Street interchange are:
- Alternative 1: a single loop hybrid interchange, with a seven-lane bridge over Rt. 7, at a cost of $38.7 million;
- Alternative 2: a compressed diamond interchange, with a 10-lane bridge, at $39.1 million;
- Alternative 3: a diverging diamond interchange, with a six-lane bridge, at $39.3 million; and
- Alternative 4: a single point urban interchange, with an eight-lane bridge, at $40.6 million.
VDOT Design Manager John Maddox said alternatives 1 and 4 are “rising to the top” of VDOT-preferred alternatives, with 1 having the best traffic operations and 4 the least right of way impacts. All options will present a challenge to the three businesses located along Rt. 7 across from interchange: Meadows Farm Nursery, Consignment Solutions and the Amish Furniture Company. Their access to Rt. 7 will be eliminated to accommodate the interchange’s exit ramps, Zeller said. The design would need to provide the business’ alternate access, or the businesses would need to be relocated, at the project’s expense, which Zeller called a “last resort.”
Among the four options for the Cardinal Park Drive intersection, two would keep a traffic light for the eastbound lanes of East Market Street which would provide more ingress and egress options for Cardinal Park Drive, but would increase congestion during morning rush hours.
Council members also raised concerns about how the new alignment of the Cardinal Park Drive intersection would impact businesses there. Alternate access from Cardinal Park Drive to Russell Branch Parkway will be provided through the planned Leegate development, but some of the options presented could divert more traffic onto that roadway, worsening its traffic operations, Maddox said.
VDOT hopes to have both town and county approval on a preferred design by early next year. The residents and business owners can provide their input during a public information meeting set for Tuesday, May 16, from 6:30-8:30 p.m., at John W. Tolbert Elementary School.
See details of each option at loudounnow.com/marketstreetintersections.