March 7, 2018

Old Bridge Road Corridor Study

Old Bridge Road Potential Ideas to Mitigate Congestion.

Over the last two years, my office has focused on mitigating congestion and improving safety on Old Bridge Road (OBR). Traffic and congestion in the Occoquan District is one of the top issues that concern citizens. Whether it is commuters frustrated as they inch their way home on a weekday or residents wanting safer routes as they run errands, Old Bridge Road is a problem that we all have to deal with. In order to tackle the problem, our office held four public meetings dubbed “Think Tanks” over the past two years. We also held a meeting on March 8, 2017 at Water’s End Brewery with about 80 residents attending. All of these meetings were publicized widely…all in an effort to get citizen input on the causes and possible solutions to the problems.

After receiving 77 different ideas from the Occoquan community our office hired an engineering consultant this past fall. We asked the firm to consider the citizen-driven suggestions, scientifically analyze the existing conditions on OBR, and then deliver potential solutions to mitigating congestion and improving safety on OBR. As part of the study, we required the engineers to hold a public meeting. That meeting was held on February 22. This meeting and all previously mentioned meetings, were open to the public and were advertised in multiple ways including postal delivered newsletters, Facebook, email blasts, Board of Supervisor meeting announcements, and local media reports.

The engineering ideas that follow are what the traffic engineers presented to us. We began accepting public comment for the study concept designs on February 22nd and extended the formal public comment period deadline to Friday March 9th. If you are not able to comment before the 9th do not worry, our office will continue to take your comments. We plan to take all citizen comments regardless of timing. This is an early step in the process and there will still be future opportunities to express concerns and opinions, both in formal and informal processes.

The ideas presented below are in no way being endorsed by our office at this time…this is simply the first step in a very long process. Our office is simply putting these ideas out for citizen comments. These ideas will take time for the community to digest. Regardless of the final design, these projects, if pursued, would take many years (potentially 8-10+ years) to get funding and be constructed. Throughout the entire process, the community will have multiple opportunities to give their input.

Safety is of the upmost importance to the Occoquan District Supervisor’s Office. The engineering consultants were asked to look at historically unsafe areas of OBR and provide potential mitigating strategies and road designs. The consultants looked for accidents, injuries, and property damage at the individual intersections. In some of the concepts below, you will see that they targeted road sections and intersections that have high accident and injury rates.

Below are diagrams of the designs. These are preliminary concept designs and not full engineering designs. If you have any difficulty interpreting the diagrams, please feel free to call Alexander Stanley at (703)-792-7935 or email him your questions at AStanley@pwcgov.org

NOTE: If you would like to view any of the designs below in a larger scale, please click on the image. It will open up in a new tab on your browser in which you may scroll and zoom in and out. You may also make an appointment to see the large posters in our office – evening appointments are available. 

  1. Mitigating Congestion caused by I-95 Congestion…primary objective – help remove cut through traffic on OBR and improve traffic flows on Prince William Parkway (PWP) and I-95. This is the proposed New South Bound Auxiliary Lane on I-95…using shoulder lane:

 

Our office is currently working with Prince William County Transportation, Virginia Department of Transportation, and several elected offices to fund and construct an auxiliary lane on I-95 South from the Route 123 interchange to the Prince William Parkway exit. This project was separate from the current Old Bridge Road Study. Prince William County plans to submit this project for funding fall of this year.

 

  1. Realigning Prince William Parkway (PWP) at junction with OBR:

 

*This design has not been endorsed or approved by Supervisor Anderson, the Board of County Supervisors, County Transportation, or the Virginia Department of Transportation.

One of the suggestions the Occoquan District Think Tank produced was to realign PWP at OBR. This would make it easier for traffic to flow onto PWP, potentially decreasing cut through traffic on OBR. This would be achieved by keeping traffic flow coming from Manassas east bound on PWP rather than continuing onto OBR as they currently do now. Three lane PWP can move more cars along at a quicker pace than OBR can.

 

  1. Redesigning OBR 123 Intersection Design A:

 

*This design has not been endorsed or approved by Supervisor Anderson, the Board of County Supervisors, County Transportation, or the Virginia Department of Transportation.

 

This design of the intersection would allow for vehicles exiting I-95 traveling north on Route 123 to stay in the right two lanes if they wanted to enter OBR. This would eliminate the need for a significant amount of traffic weaving as vehicles try to move over to the left lanes. This would also free up the far right lane of OBR allowing us to create a dedicated right turn lane from southbound Route 123 onto OBR. Design A would be more expensive to construct than Design B.

 

  1. Redesigning OBR 123 intersection Design B:

 

*This design has not been endorsed or approved by Supervisor Anderson, the Board of County Supervisors, County Transportation, or the Virginia Department of Transportation.

This design is similar to a “divergent diamond” intersection…these unique intersection designs are becoming popular across the nation. This design would allow drivers to cross over the road prior to meeting the intersection. This allows drivers to make a free flowing left turn. This would also allow for a dedicated right turn lane from southbound Route 123. Design B would be less expensive to construct than Design A.

 

  1. Removing the Steep Curve in OBR:

 

*This design has not been endorsed or approved by Supervisor Anderson, the Board of County Supervisors, County Transportation, or the Virginia Department of Transportation.

 

This design straightens and raises the elevation of the curve in-between Colby Drive and Oakwood Drive. This area is incredibly dangerous with many car accidents and at least one fatality occurring around this section of road in recent times.

 

  1. Straightening OBR at the Occoquan Road Intersection:

 

*This design has not been endorsed or approved by Supervisor Anderson, the Board of County Supervisors, County Transportation, or the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Another major safety improvement suggested is to straighten OBR where it meets Occoquan Road. For many, this is a blind curve and dangerous to navigate. It would require a significant shift from the existing road.

 

  1. Intersections at Minnieville Road and Harbor Drive:

 

*This design has not been endorsed or approved by Supervisor Anderson, the Board of County Supervisors, County Transportation, or the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Based on transportation records Harbor Drive is the most dangerous intersection on OBR over the last four years. It ranked number one in total crashes and injuries caused by crashes. It also accounted for about 10% of all crashes at OBR intersections in the last four years. To alleviate some of those safety concerns the consultants recommended limiting left turns at the intersection. The design they submitted makes both north and south Harbor Drive access points Right-in/Right-out. Additionally they also designed a new system for the Minnieville/OBR intersection. That design moves east and westbound traffic freely with some level of grade (elevation) change. This would not restrict left or right turns from OBR or Minnieville Road.  These two ideas have been the most controversial so far……….so, although the engineering might work, it doesn’t seem acceptable to the community, so far.

 

 

Thank you for your interest in this topic. Citizen input for this process of solving problems on OBR is essential for actual progress to be made. We encourage you to send in your comments via e-mail, by phone or actually coming into our office so that you can talk to the staff with questions. Several of these ideas presented are very complex. Please feel free to ask any questions and provide us your thoughts.

 

Public comments should be sent to Alexander Stanley at AStanley@pwcgov.org and Brittany Comer-Mathis at BComerMathis2@pwcgov.org

As a reminder, if you have any difficulty interpreting the diagrams, please feel free to call Alexander Stanley at (703)-792-7935 or email him your questions at AStanley@pwcgov.org