Barriers came down on a section of Loudoun County Parkway about 11 a.m. Tuesday and within minutes, cars were cruising on the fresh pavement.
“While some people may not think this is all that important of a segment, it is very very important. … It’s reducing congestion as we speak,” Supervisor Tony R. Buffington (Blue Ridge) said later that day.
He and other county leaders, along with representatives from developer Toll Brothers, met for a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday afternoon to celebrate the opening of the much-needed extension.
The four-lane section extends Loudoun County Parkway south from Evergreen Ridge Drive to Creighton Road.
Construction of the $10.2 million road was led, and paid for, by Toll Brothers as a condition of an earlier rezoning and was completed 15 months ahead of schedule.
Buffington said he met with Toll Brothers executives a little more than a year ago to nudge them to quickly finish the section of road. On Tuesday, he thanked them for being so responsive to what he called friendly harassment.
“When I was campaigning, the number one issue on people’s hearts and minds was reducing traffic congestion and that’s exactly what we’re doing here today,” he said.
Opening the link to motorists is expected to reduce cut-through traffic in the Loudoun Valley Estates and Brambleton neighborhoods.
The ribbon-cutting marked yet another milestone for the county’s transportation infrastructure. It was the third major roadway to open this month and another example of an effort by county leaders to link some of Loudoun’s most heavily traveled routes.
Earlier this month, the county also celebrated the opening of a section of Gloucester Parkway between Rt. 28 and Loudoun County Parkway, as well as a portion of Russell Branch Parkway between Ashburn Road and Ashburn Village Boulevard.
County Chairwoman Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large) said she and her colleagues have focused on connecting roads for drivers that were once segmented.
“Connecting the county is so important and this is just one piece of it,” she said. “When the rest of this road opens [next] September it’s going to change things dramatically.”
The extension of the road south to connect with the existing Loudoun County Parkway along the west side of Dulles Airport is scheduled for completion in September of 2017.