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A construction project that aims to reduce traffic congestion around George Mason University is now under way.

The $15 million construction project will connect the east and west sides of Mason’s Fairfax Campus with a road that will be accessible from Braddock Road and will cross Ox Road (Route 123) via an underpass. This new gateway will ease access to the university and reduce traffic at the intersection of Ox Road and Braddock Road. The project is slated for completion in December 2013.

Once clearing is complete, a Route 123 detour will be built to allow for the construction of two parallel bridges that will span the new Campus Drive to carry traffic in each direction. The detour, which is slated to open mid-February 2013, is expected to cause traffic delays. There also will be lane and parking closures on George Mason University’s Campus at times during the construction.

A community forum will be at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30, in the Kings Park Library Meeting Room, 9000 Burke Lake Road, Burke, to address any community questions or concerns.

Park Authority seeks comments on proposed fee schedule

The Fairfax County Park Authority will conduct its annual public comment meeting on the agency’s proposed fee adjustments for this year at 7 p.m. Jan. 30 in Room 106 of the Herrity Building, 12055 Government Center Parkway in Fairfax.

This meeting will feature a brief overview of the fee process and provide an opportunity for public comment. Citizens wishing to speak at the meeting may preregister by calling the Public Information Office at 703-324-8662. Preregistration is not required.

A document outlining all proposed fee changes is now available for review at http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/feemeeting.htm. Additionally, a desk copy of the fee proposal is available for review at Park Authority offices in the Herrity Building and at staffed park facilities, including all RECenters, golf courses, nature centers and historic sites.

Park users may also submit mail and e-mail comments through Feb. 12, 2013. Email Parkmail@fairfaxcounty.gov or send written comments to: Attention Public Information Office/Fee Comments, Fairfax County Park Authority, 12055 Government Center Parkway, Suite 927, Fairfax, VA 22035-1118.

Merrifield intersection improvements complete

The Virginia Department of Transportation’s $110 million project to increase safety, reduce congestion and enhance bicycle and pedestrian access at the intersection of Lee Highway and Gallows Road in the heart of Merrifield is now complete.

Lee Highway has been widened from two to three lanes for a half-mile in each direction between I-495 and Merrilee Drive. Gallows Road now has three through lanes for nearly a mile between Gatehouse Road and Prosperity Avenue.

Route 29 now has a six-foot sidewalk on the westbound side, and a five-foot sidewalk on the eastbound side. Gallows Road has a 10-foot asphalt path on the west side, and six-foot sidewalk on the east side. The project also added dual left-turn lanes on Route 29 at Gallows Road and landscaped medians.

Before construction could begin, the project required two years of massive utility relocation and right of way work costing $76 million. VDOT acquired 70 parcels of land, moved seven underground fuel tanks and relocated major water mains.

At the intersection, Route 29 carries about 35,000 vehicles per day, with about 38,000 per day on Gallows Road. By 2035, up to 57,000 vehicles per day are expected on Route 29 and 46,000 on Gallows Road.