A roundabout just inside Fairfax County, to which Loudoun taxpayers contributed $1 million, was completed Tuesday.
Previously, the intersection of Rt. 620/Braddock Road and Rt. 609/Pleasant Valley Road had only stop signs, causing long backups for Loudoun commuters travelling into Fairfax on Braddock Road.
“We don’t get to see things actually get finished too often,” said Supervisor Matthew F. Letourneau (R-Dulles). “This is something, right around this time in year one of my term, I had a meeting with [former Special Projects Manager] Terry Laycock, and she literally looked at me and said, ‘you’re out of your mind. You want to not only do a roundabout, you want to do it in Fairfax County?’”
The roundabout faced stiff opposition, including an unsuccessful state budget amendment introduced in 2014 by Centreville Del. Timothy D. Hugo (R-40) to stop VDOT from funding the project. Letourneau said then-delegate David Ramadan “fought like you wouldn’t believe” to protect the roundabout. Ultimately, state dollars paid for the rest of the $5.8 million project.
“This was a long-fought battle for Supervisor Letourneau and I to fund this project; getting almost $4 million from Richmond for a Loudoun project in Fairfax was no easy task,” Ramadan stated. “I’m very happy with the result.”
“The backups on Braddock Road leading into Pleasant Valley here could literally go for miles,” Letourneau said. “This backs up for 20 to 30 minutes to get through this intersection. Instantly things have improved for people.”
Western supervisors agreed: roundabouts are great.
“I am very excited about roundabouts,” said Supervisor Geary M. Higgins (R-Catoctin). “And I hope that I can get VDOT and this board as excited about a roundabout at the Route 9 – Route 287 interchange that’s actually in Loudoun County.”
“I would have to agree with Supervisor Higgins that I, too, love circles,” said Supervisor Tony R. Buffington (R-Blue Ridge). “And I can’t think of a better place to have a nice traffic circle in Loudoun County than Route 287 and Route 9.”