VDOT Joins Forces With Clark/Shirley Venture for Route 28 Improvements

Wed June 11, 2003 - Southeast Edition
Angela B. Hurni

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has signed an agreement with The Clark Construction Group Inc. and its road and bridge construction subsidiary, Shirley Contracting Company LLC, to develop, design and build six high-capacity interchanges on Route 28 in Fairfax and Loudoun counties. The agreement was signed on October 3, 2002, and design and construction of the six interchanges is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2006.

The project is being built under Virginia’s Public-Private Transportation Act, which was passed by the General Assembly in 1995. The Act allows private entities to propose innovative solutions for designing, constructing, financing and operating transportation improvements.

“Today’s agreement will provide a combined commitment of $200 million in improvements to the Route 28 corridor over the next four years,” said Governor Mark R. Warner on the day the agreement was signed.

VDOT will contribute more than $70 million of the $200 million and provide project support and guidance in accordance with the agreement to ensure the project’s success. VDOT’s contribution will include state highway funds, and revenue bonds backed by proceeds from the Route 28 Tax District will be utilized to finance the balance of the project.

In 1987, the General Assembly gave localities the go-ahead to create special tax districts. As a result, in 1988 landowners along Route 28 agreed to pay for improvements to the corridor through a special tax district. Fairfax and Loudoun counties quickly teamed up with Route 28 landowners and formed the first transportation improvement district in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Route 28 Corridor Improvements LLC, the Clark/Shirley team name, will perform right-of-way acquisition, utility relocation, site development, and design and construction services. Ultimately, over the next four years, plans call for constructing a total of 10 interchanges and widening Route 28 from six to eight lanes between Route 7 and Interstate 66.

This includes six at-grade, signalized intersections, which will be replaced with high-capacity grade-separated interchanges. The initial six intersection upgrades include Route 606, Route 625 and Sterling Boulevard in Loudoun County, and Barnsfield Road, Westfields Boulevard and McLearen Road in Fairfax County.

According to Mary Beth Avedesian, co-development manager of Clark Construction, whose job includes right-of-way acquisitions and performing public relations tasks, design work has been going on since the contract was signed.

“VDOT had taken the design of the interchange at Route 625 to about 70-percent complete when we were awarded the contract,” said Avedesian. “Since then, we have completed its design, and actual construction began [the end of February], starting with a bridge that will be widened on Route 625.”

The Route 625 bridge, which will be widened from four to six lanes, extends over Broad Run waterway. Construction will begin on this section because right-of-way acquisitions are not needed, just the appropriate permits. “We also started construction at the Barnsfield Road interchange in February,” said Avedesian, “but the remaining interchanges are in varying stages of design, yet.”

Improvements to the corridor are vital to the continued economic development of the fast-growing area, which is home to Dulles International Airport, AOL Time Warner Headquarters, and the Smithsonian’s new Air and Space Museum. Loudoun County is the second fastest growing county in the nation. Everyday, more than 100,000 cars travel the segment of Route 28 just north of the Dulles Toll Road. By 2012, transportation officials estimate that portion will carry 200,000 cars each day.

Headquartered in Bethesda, MD, The Clark Construction Group Inc. will act as Development Manager providing overall management on the project. Lorton, VA-based Shirley Contracting Company LLC will be responsible for all construction activities of the project. Dewberry & Davis LLC of Fairfax, VA, an architecture/engineering firm, is providing all design services.

For more information, visit www.28freeway.com.