VDOT official discusses Exit 310, Va. 277 projects

Posted: October 18, 2013

The Winchester Star

WINCHESTER— While two transportation projects planned for Frederick County are still several years from completion, there have not been any deviations from their timelines for work, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).

Terry Short, of VDOT’s Staunton District office, spoke to the Winchester-Frederick County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Policy Board about the Exit 310 interchange realignment project and the improvements to Va. 277 (Fairfax Pike) during a Wednesday morning meeting.

The first project to start will be the interchange realignment along Interstate 81 near Kernstown. The estimated $48 million project will reconstruct the ramps on I-81 at Exit 310 to widen and spread them outward from their intersections with Va. 37.

The ramps’ reconstruction will allow more room for vehicle stacking and turn movements.

Construction is expected to run from fall 2014 to fall 2016, and the new interchange will be able to connect to the eventual construction of the planned Va. 37 bypass around the eastern side of Winchester.

The project also will require moving parts of Tasker Road and Hillandale Lane — both located just east of I-81 and north of Stephens City — farther east of the interstate to allow for the larger interchange design.

About 3,900 feet of Tasker Road and a half mile of Hillandale Lane will have to be moved. Approximately 28 acres of right of way will be needed for the project, but 21 acres will come from the Crosspointe Center development.

VDOT will have to acquire the other seven acres from public and private owners, including the Frederick County Sanitation Authority.

The Fairfax Pike work is expected to start in spring 2016 and take two years to finish.

The project would extend from Interstate 81 to just east of Warrior Drive and widen the road “to provide additional traffic capacity, improve overall operational safety and improve the connectivity of the regional roadway system,” according to VDOT.

The project would provide four lanes for Fairfax Pike, with a center median from the northbound I-81 ramps to Double Church Road, where the road would transition to the existing two-lane section. At the Warrior Drive intersection, improvements would provide additional turn-lane capacity and enhanced pedestrian accommodations.

A sidewalk is proposed on the north side of Fairfax Pike from I-81 to Warrior Drive, and a shared-use path is planned for the south side between Stickley Drive and Double Church Road.

Aylor Road would be relocated to the east to align with the current Stickley Drive intersection, and the traffic signal at Town Run Lane would be removed. Vdot Lane would be relocated to the west to align with the existing Food Lion shopping center entrance, where a new traffic signal would be installed, according to VDOT.

The estimated cost for the Fairfax Pike project is $33 million and, like the interchange realignment, it is fully funded.

Policy Board Chairman Richard Shickle said during the meeting that he would like VDOT to think of ways to limit tractor-trailer traffic on Fairfax Pike due to concerns that residents and business owners along the road have with large amounts of trucks.

Attending the meeting in the Frederick County Administration Building were Chairman Richard C. Shickle and members Charles S. DeHaven Jr., John R. Riley Jr., John Willingham, Randy Kiser, Lisa DuMetz-Rosier, Terry Short and Tim Youmans. Members John Hill, Dale Iman and Michael Kehoe were absent.

— Contact Matt Armstrong at marmstrong@winchesterstar.com