Area Transportation Projects Are Focus of Chamber Meeting

Four projects planned for southern Fairfax County corridor.

Transportation and area businesses are linked in many ways, so the recent Mount Vernon Chamber of Commerce meeting focused on several transportation projects in the works in southern Fairfax County.

The four projects included the bus rapid transit line, Richmond Highway widening, the Frontier Drive extension and the Springfield parking garage, a project that is currently under construction. The chamber supports all these projects as a way to increase the connectivity for residents and commuters alike.

Fairfax County Department of Transportation senior transportation planner Vanessa Agauyo was the first at the podium to discuss the BRT line called The One. The line is planned to run on separated lanes in the middle of Richmond Highway on articulated buses that will be able to hold 50-60 people, she said.

The cost is estimated at $937 million which will be split between federal funding and local sources but this project is competing with other projects for funding. Agauyo put the completion date in 2031, and noted that they are currently discussing the stations, utilities and artwork for the stations. “A lot going on behind the scenes,” she said.

One thing that is going on behind the scenes is an idea for artwork at the stations. Officials are working with student artists at a few of the local schools to create art that will be put on the walls in one format or another for the local touch.

Next up was the Richmond Highway widening project, presented by VDOT engineer Dan Reinhard. The $464 million project will span nearly four miles from Jeff Todd Way to Sherwood Hall Lane. In this stretch of highway, they will replace three bridges, outfit the road with bike lanes and create a road with at least three lanes of through traffic and turn lanes throughout.

Construction is expected to start in 2027, which will overlap with construction on the BRT line, which has the potential to impact traffic. VDOT has a complete Maintenance of Traffic (MOT) plan but as with other construction projects, there will be lane closures and flagmen so traveling through this area could be problematic.

To make way for the wider road plan, VDOT acquired 16 properties and is in talks with the owners of three other properties that will need to be removed. If the talks do not go as planned for VDOT, there is the possibility of acquiring them through eminent domain.

To the west of the Mount Vernon District, VDOT is planning a project at Frontier Drive near the Springfield Town Center. They are planning on extending Frontier Drive past the Franconia-Springfield Metro Station where the road will head west and connect with Loisdale Road, which runs parallel to I-95. Officials are still looking for funding for this $224 million project, and hopr to start construction in 2026, but this may get pushed to 2030, said Zamir Mirza, the VDOT project manager. It will be funded by federal, state, Northern Virginia Transportation Authority and county funding, the VDOT website said.

The Springfield garage and transportation hub is the only project presented at the meeting that is currently under construction. All is going well on the construction and the bus plan for this transit hub. The project does include a pedestrian bridge that will span Old Keene Mill Road to the Springfield Plaza shopping center. To build that bridge, there will need to be beams placed over Old Keene Mill Road, and this will require traffic to be completely stopped for a period of time. Most likely, this will be done in the overnight hours, said Fairfax County DOT planner Caijun Luo.

Vanessa Agauyo 


The Chamber’s membership and scope has changed a little in recent months. In late 2022, the Mount Vernon Springfield Chamber of Commerce was created by combining the former Mount Vernon Lee Chamber and the Greater Springfield Chamber into a new regional chamber of commerce. "Joining forces expands our reach, offers a stronger support network for businesses, a greater voice to our members and more opportunity for all. The future is bright for a united chamber of commerce working to strengthen our community," it said on the joint website.