Where Will Soapstone Crossing Begin and End?
Engineers show Restonians some of the options for a future crossing point of the Dulles Toll Road.
Reston residents got a look Wednesday night at how a future extension of Soapstone Drive might work as it connects Sunset Hills Road and Sunrise Valley Drive and offers an access option to the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station.
"This is an opportunity to find other transportation alternatives," Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins told the crowd at South Lakes High School.
"Reston has a great layout," she said. "But we have some barriers. The gulf of the Dulles Toll Road makes it difficult as there is no place other than Wiehle and Reston Parkway."
Hudgins also said there is not yet funding in place to build the Soapstone extension, which consultants say could cost $100-150 million.
One of the biggest costs: land acquisition and impact, said Warren Hughes of the engineering firm ATCS.
Two of the proposed plans involve building the road through existing buildings in the association drive area.
Hughes said his team has determined in its research so far that a crossing would reduce traffic impact on Wiehle Avenue (which is expected to be heavily impacted when Metro opens here in December); improve accessibility to the Metro station; would be feasible from an engineering and environmental perspective; and could in integrated with a planned street grid and existing future development in Reston.
The need for a new crossing was analyzed from 2007 to 2010 by the Fairfax County Department of Transportation.
The audience was presented with four alternatives for the crossing, each differing a little in layout and access point. The rough estimate is they will all be 100-feet wide, allowing for veichle, pedestrian and bike lanes, though Hughes said the final width could change.
* Alternative 1C - the southern terminus would be at the existing intersection of Sunrise Valley Drive and Commerce Park Drive. The northern terminus would be at Sunset Hills Road and the driveway/garage at BAE systems. The alignment north of the toll road would go through the existing BAE garage. The alignment south of the toll road would traverse Association Drive and impact existing surface parking and access roads.
* Alternative 3D -The southern terminus would be the exiting intersection of Soapstone and Sunrise Valley; the northern terminus would be at the intersection of Sunset Hills and BAE driveway and parking garage. The alignment north of the toll road would go through the existing BAE garage. The alignment south of the toll road would traverse Association Drive and impact existing surface parking and access roads.
* Alternative 4D - The southern terminus would be at the existing intersection of Sunrise Valley and Soapstone; the northern terminus would be at Sunset Hills and a spot near the easement for the Colonial Pipeline near 11501 Sunset Hills Rd. Alignment to the north of the toll road would be over a portion of the exiting surface parking for Capital Dividend Building. Alignment to the south would go through the National Association of Secondary School Principals' building.
* Alternative 5C - Southern terminus would be at Sunrise Valley Drive and a spot about 350 feet west of Soapstone; northern terminus would be at Sunset Hills and a spot just west of Colonial Pipe easement. Alignment to the north of the toll road would go through a building owned by Musica at 11510 Sunset Hills Rd. Alignment to the south would traverse the area running along property line between 11600 Sunrise Valley Dr. and properties on the western part of Association Drive.
Alternative 5C caught the attention of Reston 2020's Tammi Petrine, who said that a terminus at Indian Ridge Road - which goes into Reston National Golf Course - is going to be make residents very concerned.
"The farther west you go, the more nervous you are making Restonians who are trying to save the golf course," she said.
The owners of Reston National Golf Course are awaiting a Fairfax County Board of Zoning Appeals hearing on May 22. If they win the appeal, the open space of the golf course could eventually be redeveloped as residential buildings. Read all stories on the Golf Course Redevelopment here.
Project organizers are taking public feedback on the proposed crossings. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
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