Monday, October 26, 2015

Soapstone Connector meeting tonight in Reston

Fairfax County plans to build a bridge across the Dulles Toll Road/Access Road as an extension of Soapstone Dr. The Soapstone Connector will extend from Sunrise Valley Dr to Sunset Hills Dr. The County is holding a public meeting tonight to provide an update on the project. The meeting will be held from 6-8pm at South Lakes High School, 11400 South Lakes Drive, Reston, VA 20191. A presentation will be given at 7pm.

In Reston the Dulles Toll Road is a major barrier to north-south bike travel. The Soapstone Connector will provide a much needed additional way for northbound cyclists to reach the W&OD Trail, Plaza America, and other locations. Bike lanes are planned on the Connector along with a shared use trail. The new bike lanes will connect to bike lanes on Soapstone Drive to the south. Those lanes extend from  Sunrise Valley Drive all the way to Lawyers Road. Many cyclists use this route to connect to the Wiehe-Reston East Metrorail station and destinations to the north.

From the Soapstone Connector page:
The Soapstone Connector Project aims to provide a direct connection between Sunset Hills Road and Sunrise Valley Drive crossing over the Dulles Toll Road (Route 267), as recommended by the Reston Metrorail Access Group (RMAG).The project is also included in the Reston Comprehensive Plan Amendment which was approved by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in February 2014.

The proposed Soapstone Connector alignment is a composition of two previously evaluated alternatives and was chosen due to its advantages over the numerous alternatives studied. These advantages include benefits to multi-modal users, connectivity to Soapstone Drive, and minimization of impacts to environmentally sensitive areas.
The typical section of the bridge will include:
  • Two (2) travel lanes (one lane in each direction).
  • One (1) bike lane in each direction.
  • A sidewalk on one side of the roadway and a shared use trail on the other side of the roadway

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