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VDOT Wraps Up Soapstone Drive Project

New configuration has bike, turning lanes.

Goodbye, construction equipment and flashing signs. Hello, bike and turning lanes.

The project to repave and restripe Soapstone Drive from Lawyers Road to Sunrise Valley Drive is in the finishing stages and completed in most segments.

The 1.5-mile stretch was also given a "road diet," and it now includes bike lanes on either side, one lane in each direction and a turning lane.

The project, which was under construction for about two weeks, has met with mixed reviews from residents, some of whom predict traffic tie-ups during rush hour and while buses and cars are going to and from the three schools in the area.

Have you driven down the new Soapstone? What did you think? Or do we need to wait until school is back in session on Wednesday to really get a feel for the traffic flow?

Steve L November 07, 2011 at 03:16 PM
In before the bickering!
Chris Purcell November 07, 2011 at 06:10 PM
I drove down South Lakes Drive today, They are still working on pedestrian crosswalks at Soapstone and South Lakes, so I don't think they are quite finished.
Karen Goff November 07, 2011 at 07:00 PM
Looks like they are mostly finished, but yes, finishing touches in some spots. The segment from South Lakes to Sunrise Valley looks totally done.
Richard Holmquist November 08, 2011 at 02:59 PM
I drove the road this morning. It was HORRIBLE! Traffic backed up from South Lakes to Glade - blocking at least two firetrucks and an ambulance responding to the wreck where the mail van weaved around a biker that strayed out of his lane and hit the teenage driver who was racing down the "suicide" lanes. Complete chaos. Boy, we sure should have listened to all those commentators who urged us to suspend the re-lining of this road.
Richard Holmquist November 08, 2011 at 05:43 PM
I was feeling sarcastic this morning. My ride from Sunrise Valley to Lawyers was smooth and pleasant. Granted, it wasn't a school day, but at 8:30 am there wasn't a single car waiting in line on Soapstone at any intersection. The re-paving and re-lining work was outstanding and is a great improvement. Well done to Cathy Hudgins and the rest who supported this effort.
Karen Goff November 08, 2011 at 06:55 PM
Doh! You fooled me, Richard. I was seriously just about to call FCPD to see about a crash with biker and teen driver. Whew. I was also puzzled because my experience has been "hey, this road looks good and there isn't much traffic."
Richard Holmquist November 08, 2011 at 07:17 PM
I guess I wasn't sufficiently over the top. I'll have to work on that for next time. The road is beautiful. Like Chris Purcell wrote above, there are a few crosswalks and lines that need to be completed, but they're being applied with a heavy duty stripe of some sort that doesn't appear likely to wear away quickly. The intersection at Glade is improved, although the lines there need to be completed. Without the lines, it's hard to know which lane is supposed to go where. Two south-bound turn lanes become one lane on the other side of the intersection. Will one lane be dedicated to go right toward Reston Pkwy or left toward Twin Branches? We'll find out soon. In the meantime, there could be a problem if both cars try to go straight. I passed at least one tipsy-looking, weaving pedestrian enjoying the new bike lane, but no bikes.
Frank Sogandares November 08, 2011 at 09:21 PM
the sky didn't fall? Ms. Hudgins doesn't have blood on here hands? this cannot BE!!
Ellen November 08, 2011 at 10:47 PM
That really isn't funny Richard. I avoided taking Lawyers to work this afternoon after I read this
Kathy November 08, 2011 at 11:15 PM
When threading my way down Soapstone after taking my granddaughter home, I stopped for the light at Lawyers. A woman riding a motorcycle pulled over and got off at the corner to make some adjustments to her bike. She was transporting a child on the back of her motorcycle. The child looked to be five or six years old and was wearing a helmet. I wonder if this is legal. The most exciting part of the Soapstone trip was making a left at Glencourse at the same time someone was turning left at Purple Beech. We were nose to nose. I am sure the people in the other car were hoping, as I was, that the driver of the opposing car knew they were in a turning lane. Kathy Kaplan
Richard Holmquist November 08, 2011 at 11:16 PM
Sorry, Stacy. Enjoy the new road tomorrow!
Chris Taylor Moller November 09, 2011 at 02:37 AM
A huge waste of money! This was a "wish list" item that could have waited for quite a while until really needed items (rebuilding critical infrastructure, i.e., bridges) were funded. Another example of waste, fraud & abuse by the state & Federal governments. Shame on you!
Richard Holmquist November 09, 2011 at 03:37 AM
Re-paving a road is now considered fraud? And what did the feds have to do with it?
Chris Taylor Moller November 09, 2011 at 02:38 PM
@ Richard: There was nothing wrong w/Soapstone Drive the way it was. The money used for this project came from some sort of federal grant. It should have been spent on needed repairs not needless, wasteful wish-list items such as bike lanes on Soapstone Drive. The people in government who made the decision to spend the money this way should be held accountable for wasting our hard earned tax dollars.

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