Budget Spotlight: Reaching the End of the Road for Big Transportation Projects

With streets and highway projects now accounting for 75 percent of the projects in the Leesburg’s Capital Improvements Program, expect orange cones to become a familiar sight on Leesburg streets for years to come.

But fiscal year 2019 marks the end of two especially noteworthy transportation projects that have been decades in the making.

Chief among those is Battlefield Parkway, a project that has taken some 30 years to finish since its inception. Next month, lanes on the newest link between South King Street to the Dulles Greenway will open to traffic, and the project will be substantially completed by the summer, Capital Projects Manager Tom Brandon told the Town Council on Monday night. With all the links along Battlefield completed, attention will now turn to the funding of interchanges to ease congestion along the major arterial road.

This year, the town is expected to receive the final $25 million in needed funding to jumpstart the construction of the interchange at Battlefield and Rt. 7. A future interchange is also planned at Battlefield’s intersection with the Leesburg Bypass, although funding for that remains to be had.

Another road project that has seen its share of work over the past decade is also winding down. The four-phase Sycolin Road widening project, set to be completed within fiscal year 2019, was intended to ease congestion in one of the fastest growing development corridors in town. As the only continuous north-south arterial route in Leesburg other than Rt. 15, back-ups on Sycolin Road have become commonplace, especially as development along the route has increased. In addition to the extensions of Battlefield Parkway, the development of the Oaklawn community, the increased activity at Leesburg Executive Airport, and the opening of the county’s Philip A. Bolen Park, have all added strain to an already busy travel way. Widening the road from two lanes to four, divided roadway, with sidewalk and trail extensions alongside it, was hoped to spell the relief commuters and residents in the area so desperately desired.

The final phase of the widening project is set to kick off this spring, and will widen the 3,400 feet between the town’s southern corporate limits to just south of Tolbert Lane. Other phases of the project have addressed Sycolin’s intersections with Battlefield Parkway, Tolbert Lane, and Hope Parkway. In total, the four-phase project has cost more than $33 million.

krodriguez@loudounnow.com

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