STEPHENS CITY — The Commonwealth Transportation Board awarded an $18.2 million contract to General Excavation Inc. of Warrenton at its May meeting for the widening of Fairfax Pike (Va. 277) near Stephens City.
The widening will extend just east of the Interstate 81 northbound ramps at exit 307 to Double Church Road (Route 641). Fairfax Pike will be widened to four lanes with a median from east of the I-81 northbound ramps to east of Double Church Road, where Fairfax Pike transitions to two lanes at the project.
Portions of the Fairfax Pike median will be raised and other portions of the median will be striped to provide turn lanes.
Robert Goode, a construction engineer for the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), said that construction is expected to begin in June. The contract value on the 0.74-mile-long Fairfax Pike project is $18,176,369 and has a fixed completion date of June 1, 2023.
Once completed, the widened stretch of Fairfax Pike will be able to accommodate projected traffic until 2038. The current average daily traffic count is 14,566 vehicles per day. That is projected to increase to 23,428 by 2038, according to VDOT’s website.
The project will provide various intersection improvements.
• On the west side of the project, congestion and traffic flow will be improved on Fairfax Pike at the I-81 northbound on and off ramp intersection.
• On the north side of Fairfax Pike, Route 647 (Aylor Road) will be relocated to the east to align with Route 1085 (Stickley Drive). This moves Aylor Road away from the I-81 northbound off ramp intersection with Fairfax Pike.
• On the south side of Fairfax Pike next to the I-81 northbound off ramp, the traffic signal at Route 1012 (Town Run Lane) and Fairfax Pike will be removed. This helps free traffic flow at the I-81 northbound off ramp intersection with Fairfax Pike.
• The new Stickley Drive intersection with Aylor Road will have right and left turn lanes on to Fairfax Pike. Access controls will be provided on both Stickley Drive and Aylor Road.
• On the north side of Fairfax Pike, VDOT Lane will be moved west to align with the shopping center entrance located on the south side of Fairfax Pike.
The project will also provide pedestrian access on the north and south sides of Fairfax Pike. A 5-foot-wide sidewalk will be constructed on the north side of Fairfax Pike between the Interstate 81 northbound entrance ramp and Double Church Road. And a 10-foot-wide shared use path will be constructed on the south side of Fairfax Pike between Stickley Drive and Double Church Road.
Additional project work includes construction of a stormwater management basin and the relocation of some utilities.
While the construction of the project is about $18 million, the project’s total cost — including preliminary engineering and right of way — is $42 million. Through, Virginia’s data-driven prioritization process called Smart Scale, the CTB allocated $30,723,571 to the project. The completed project on Fairfax Pike will increase traffic capacity, enhance operational safety, and improve the connectivity of the regional roadway system.