This story was updated Jan. 17 at 11 a.m.
Four-way stop at Braddock, Pleasant Valley roads to be replaced
by Kali Schumitz
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has given its support to a proposed roundabout at an often-congested intersection in Centreville.
The Virginia Department of Transportation is proposing a roundabout at the intersection of Pleasant Valley and Braddock roads, which is currently a four-way stop. Both Braddock and Pleasant Valley are heavily used by residents of southwestern Fairfax County and eastern Loudoun County.
On Jan. 14, the Board of Supervisors approved communicating the board’s “expression of no opposition” for the project to VDOT, despite vocal opposition from Centreville residents.
The measure did request that VDOT continue to work with the county on several road issues in the vicinity of the roundabout. One request is that VDOT consider eliminating a lane of southbound Pleasant Valley Road through the Virginia Run community, to discourage cut-through traffic.
The intersection is surrounded by parkland on three quadrants and the fourth is home to Cox Farms. The Sully Woodlands park is also home to extensive wetlands.
While, more recently, many residents on the Fairfax County side of the line have been fighting the roundabout project, Supervisor Michael Frey (R-Sully) said his constituents had been asking for years what could be done about the intersection.
However, by the time this proposal moved forward, the Braddock Road corridor in Loudoun County had experienced significant development, and many residents along Braddock and Pleasant Valley on the Fairfax County side of the line say they aren’t interested in making it easier for Loudoun drivers to clog the two-lane roads.
Installing a stoplight would require the addition of turn lanes, increasing costs and impacting more of the wetlands area, Frey said.
“We believe [the roundabout] is a reasonable compromise in terms of trying to improve the intersection without the detrimental impacts to the environment,” said Tom Biedsiadny, director of the Fairfax County Department of Transportation.
VDOT has used roundabouts in other parts of the state, but it would be the first one in this region, Frey said.
Frey also believes that doing nothing is not a very good option.
“There are still thousands of residents in western Fairfax who are impacted by this intersection every day,” he said.
He is also concerned about the potential impact of congestion on businesses in the Westfields office park, as many people who work there are commuting from Loudoun.
VDOT’s proposal to improve the intersection was stalled for years due to lack of funding, but Loudoun County officials got the $4 million project moving again. Loudoun is putting $1 million of its own funds into the project to supplement federal and state transportation dollars.
Supervisor Penny Gross (D-Mason) voted against the motion because of her concerns about the wetlands. Supervisor Cathy Hudgins (D-Hunter Mill) also voted “no” on the measure.
Frey said VDOT has revised the project design multiple times minimize the effects on the wetlands.
The project is expected to being construction this summer with completion in May 2016.
The original version of this story mistakenly had Supervisor Linda Smyth voting against the proposed roundabout at Braddock and Pleasant Valley roads.