Commuters used to sitting in long lines of traffic queuing through the narrow three-way intersection at Arcola—or those who travel miles out of their way to avoid it—will have a much better drive starting tonight.
On Wednesday afternoon, state and local government leaders gathered to celebrate the completion of the final mile of the Loudoun County Parkway. The link between Brambleton and Old Ox Road completes the four-lane road between Rt. 50 and Rt. 7. Rt. 28 is the only other multi-lane road to provide that north-south connection in Loudoun.
The final segment was built by Brambleton’s developer as part of its proffer agreement with the county. The project was done in conjunction with VDOT’s $119 million Rt. 606 widening project, which includes the Old Ox Road/Loudoun County Parkway intersection, which became operational today. Other changes in the area include additional traffic lights and an extension of Shreveport Drive in Brambleton. The Loudoun County Parkway segment also includes shared-use paths.
“This was a tough project from start to finish,” said Supervisor Matthew F. Letourneau (R-Dulles) during the ribbon cutting ceremony. “It has multiple iterations. It took an awful lot of work. It took two proffers and then a re-negotiated proffer on the part of the board. There were some tough words on both sides, but at the end of the day we’re setting here.”
At a Board of Supervisors meeting the night before, he said the road was something that spurred him to seek elected office.
“I don’t know if I’d even be sitting here if it wasn’t for that missing connection,” Letourneau said at the meeting. “That more than anything else probably prompted me to get more involved civically in my own community.”
“Wow. Are we opening Loudoun County Parkway right here, right now today? I really can’t believe it,” Supervisor Tony F. Buffington (R-Blue Ridge) said.
Also joining the event were three members of Loudoun’s General Assembly delegation: Sen. Jennifer Wexton (D-33), Del. Tag Greason (R-32) and Del. John Bell (D-87).
“For me, what’s important is that this is really going to make families’ lives better. It’s going to allow parents to actually make it on time see their children’s sports activities. It’s going to allow families to have a few more minutes to make it home and maybe have dinner together,” Bell said. “The quality of life difference that this is going to make is absolutely huge.”
Many of the remarks by the elected officials focused on the cooperation that went into the road projects, especially the Rt. 606 widening, which is supported by state, regional and local funding along with a large land contribution by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.
“The problem that we have is that we have a huge number of transportation challenges here in Northern Virginia and none of them are inexpensive. All of the things that we can do for just a little amount of money have been done,” said Marty Nohe, chairman of the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, which kicked in $31 million for the intersection construction and the parkway extension. “So projects like this that cost tens of millions of dollars are going to take a lot of continued cooperation in this region.”