Fairfax County officials plan to pave Hickory Hollow Lane in Oakton and add stormwater-management facilities to reduce flooding on the road.
But residents living along the single-lane, gravel-covered street said the improvements are unnecessary, exorbitantly expensive and will result in substantial tree losses.
The cul-de-sac, which branches off northward from Hickory Forest Drive, is serviced under the Fairfax County Road Maintenance Improvement Program. The roadway regularly floods because of inadequately large culverts carrying Rocky Branch stream beneath it, according to county officials.
The Maintenance and Stormwater Management Division of the county’s Department of Public Works and Environmental Services intends to build four culverts and raise the road to accommodate them.
The county then would pave the street according to Virginia Department of Transportation standards, which would include an 18-foot-wide travel way adjacent to residents’ properties, and plant new trees to replace those removed for the project.
The county needs to obtain a temporary construction easement for the project’s grading work, but all of the permanent improvements would be built within the dedicated roadway, officials said. The project’s timing would depend on when the county receives the temporary construction easement.
County officials estimate the project will cost about $1.3 million.
But John and Donna Repetski, who live at 2600 Hickory Hollow Lane adjacent to the project site, issued a statement attributing the road’s flooding problems to a 36-inch-diameter concrete pipe that carries the stream under the roadway.
The pipe is inadequate during times of high water flow and has been blocked partially by branches and logs carried downstream, they wrote. The county instead should install a larger box culvert, which would be able to handle peak water flows, they added.
The current gravel roadway for more than half a century has served the two residences that front it, the Repetskis wrote. The second home, located at 2550 Hickory Hollow Lane, is owned by Kristin Moyer.
The road has been able to handle tractor-trailers, cement and dump trucks, delivery vehicles and MetroAccess vans with minimal difficulties, they said.
“The cost of widening/paving this stretch of road would be astronomically more than the cost of maintaining it as is,” they wrote, saying it would be “irresponsible” to spend that amount of tax money for the project.
Widening and repaving the road would require removal of all of the roughly 70 to 80 mature trees lining the right-of-way and would increase water runoff and erosion, the residents wrote.
“The road, as is, is truly a bargain for Fairfax County,” they wrote. “Please, leave it be.”