The Fairfax County Department of Transportation will seek funding from the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC) for four projects designed to boost options for commuters on Interstate 66 inside the Capital Beltway.
The Board of Supervisors on Jan. 25 endorsed the projects and authorized Department of Transportation Director Tom Biesiadny to submit them for NVTC’s Inside the Beltway Commuter Choice Program funding for fiscal years 2023-24.
NVTC’s primary funding source for those multi-modal projects comes from I-66 toll revenues inside the Beltway. Commission leaders expect to have at least $12 million available during those years and county officials, expecting even more revenues will be in the coffers, have submitted $11.52 million worth of funding requests.
The projects and their costs include:
• Nearly $1.25 million to renew operating funds for Fairfax Connector Route 698, which provides express-bus service between the Vienna Metro station and Pentagon Transit Center. The bus line makes 10 inbound trips from Vienna to the Pentagon in the morning and 10 outbound ones each afternoon.
• $2.97 million for expansion of Fairfax Connector Route 698, which will extend the route between the Vienna Metrorail Station and the Stringfellow Road Park-and-Ride Lot in Centreville.
The improvements are designed to reduce headways along the route from 20 minutes to 10. There would be 22 inbound trips and 13 reverse-commute ones during morning peak hours, then the opposite in evening peak hours. The route still would serve the Vienna Metrorail Station and access it using the new high-occupancy-vehicle ramps at Vaden Drive.
• $3 million to build the Vienna Metrorail Trail between Blake Lane in Oakton and the Vienna Metro station. The project would include 5,000 feet of cycle track and a 10-foot-wide paved trail between the Nutley Street interchange at the Metro station to Blake Lane.
• $4.3 million to build the 2,750-foot-long Random Hills Road/Post Forest Road Trail between West Ox Road and the Monument Drive Commuter Parking Garage and Transit Center in Fairfax.
Toll revenues from I-66 inside the Beltway have taken a hit during the pandemic, when many people either were out of work or had the opportunity to work from home. But monthly revenues as of last September had increased to about 50 percent of their pre-pandemic levels, county officials said.
Supervisors made their decision three days before NVTC’s filing deadline.
NVTC officials will evaluate the project applications for the fiscal 2023-24 funding cycle and prepare a list of eligible candidates for possible commission approval in May.
NVTC’s recommendations then will be forwarded to the Commonwealth Transportation Board for approval in June. Projects chosen for funding will be included in Virginia’s fiscal 2023-2028 Six-Year Improvement Program.