by Gretchen L.H. O’Brien, Bull Run Observer

10 August 2007, pp. 1, 10

“Millions of dollars are paving county roads. Anyone who lives or works in the area knows roadwork is a part of life in an effort to smooth daily travels in the future.

“Rick Canizales, transportation planning manager for Prince William County’s Department of Transportation, said many road upgrade projects are on the county’s books for the upcoming year; many more are mapped out for the years to come.

“Canizales discussed some area road projects in a recent telephone interview and provided funding estimates in a follow-up e-mail.

“Although the county did not create the connection of Heathcote Boulevard between Catharpin Road and U.S. 29, Canizales has stayed apprised of its schedule. The road was originally scheduled to open in 2006 but contained a design flaw not caught until fmal inspections. During a recent redesign, VDOT sent the redesign back in record time. He said it was the ‘fastest I’ve ever seen a design come back from Richmond.’

“Linton Hall Road’s widening has been going on for quite some time now. Canizales expects the Virginia Department of Transportation work to be complete by the end of 2007.

“However, complete work on the road, from U.S. 29 to VA 28, which will be a four-lane section of road extending from Sudley Manor Drive to VA 28, will not be complete until August 2009, he said. The county has about $44.5 million budgeted for the entire project.

“The Sudley Manor Drive extension, which opened in October, connects drivers from Linton Hall Road in Bristow to VA 234 in Manassas. The Public-Private Transportation Act (PPTA) road, which means private and public funds were poured into the road, cost an estimated $37.4 million.

“Different sections of U.S. 15 are on the county’s schedule for upgrades. Canizales said the upgrades are set for phases under this PPTA. From Interstate 66 to VA 234, road workers will widen the road and improve the intersection at Waterfall Road. By summer of next year, Canizales expects the road to be widened and for the Waterfall intersection to be safer with a ‘more even flow’ to allow drivers to enter and exit U.S. 15 more easily. Waterfall’s smoother flow is expected to cost $3.5 million.

“Drivers who head out on VA 28 between Vint Hill Road and VA 234 will see some improvements in the years to come as well. For an estimated $54.3 million, drivers will have a six-lane bridge to cross and will have four lanes of pavement between Hornbaker and Linton Hall Roads.

“In addition, Canizales said the county has plans to realign Vint Hill Road where it meets VA 28.

“Old Carolina Road will be made new in some aspects by summer 2009.  Canizales expects the road to offer drivers four lanes near the entrance to the Piedmont community.  In addition, he said, pedestrians will have a path so that they can more safely walk parallel to the road, especially where the road crosses the creek. Canizales said under a revenue-sharing plan, some money has been set aside for these improvement[s]. His e-mail did not include cost estimates for these im-provements.

“Canizales said the county’s transportation department, which was formed in 2006, is working well. The separate entity was previously part of the county’s public works department. The autonomy, Canizales said, makes road projects easier to streamline.

“Area residents who have questions about road plans can refer to the county’s Web site, under the transportation link, or can contact their local supervisor’s office to voice concerns.”