Rt. 7 west of Leesburg will be getting another lane in each direction after a unanimous vote by county supervisors last week.
The plans call for a third eastbound lane between Rt. 9 and the Dulles Greenway and a third westbound lane between the Dulles Greenway and West Market Street.
The vote follows studies on traffic and crashes in the area by the Virginia Department of Transportation and county consultants Kimley-Horn. In 2016, VDOT found an average daily traffic volume of 68,000 trips at the Rt. 9 interchange, a daily gridlock point for morning commuters.
“If that third lane could be done yesterday, it would be too late,” said Supervisor Tony R. Buffington Jr. (R-Blue Ridge). “It’s also worth nothing that the study recommends a third lane each way by 2040 over by Purcellville between Rt. 690 interchange and the Rt. 7 and Rt. 287 interchange, so that’s something we have to start thinking about as a board too.”
The county will also revise its Countywide Transportation Plan to reflect the need for four lanes in each direction between West Market Street and the Dulles Greenway.
Detailed cost estimates—and, more importantly, a construction schedule—have not yet been completed. County staff members estimate is will cost $5.5 million to widen eastbound Rt. 7 between Rt. 9 and West Market Street, and $21 million to widen both directions of Rt. 7 between West Market Street and the Dulles Greenway.