Route 659/Belmont Ridge Road
(Updated February 2008)
Upgrade to four lanes on a six lane right of way between Route 7 and Route 50 and connecting to Route 234 Extended. Design should accommodate limited future access points and operational speeds of 60mph.
VDOT is preparing to upgrade Route 659 between Route 7 and the Dulles Greenway (Route 267). Public comments from the December 2007 Design Public Hearing are currently being evaluated by VDOT staff. Design approval is expected in Late 2008.
The need for a limited access north-south roadway west of Dulles Airport has been obvious for decades. An outer circumferential in this area was recommended by regional and state planners in the 1960s. Federal and state studies in the 1980’s confirmed this need as did a Major Investment Study performed by VDOT in the mid-1990s.
The Commonwealth’s failure to pursue the identification and protection of a Western Transportation Corridor, failure to support the Tri-County Parkway master plan alignment and failure to have a viable plan to upgrade Route 15 north and south of Leesburg, leaves state Route 659 connected to state Route 234 extended from Prince William County as the only means to move people and goods between I-95, Route 7 and Maryland.
Under the Loudoun Countywide Transportation Plan, Route 659/Belmont Ridge Road is classified as an urban minor facility despite increased volume and projected traffic totals that would far exceed such a classification.
In 1995 about 1400 vehicles per day traveled Rt. 659. In 2006, the traffic reached 16,000 vpd. By 2032, it is expected to see upwards of 36,000 vpd with a large increase in heavy truck traffic.
In the absence of state or local government commitment to protecting and constructing an alternative, the Alliance believes Route 659 must be designed in a manner that does not preclude its future operation as a limited access facility with a 60mph design travel speed.
Project Details: Phase I and II
Length: 3.40 miles
The current design for this project would widen the existing two lane roadway to an interim four lane roadway with room to expand to six lanes in the future. Some design elements include:
• 12 ft. wide travel lanes with curb and gutter
• Right and left turn lanes
• Modification of existing traffic signals and adding new ones as needed
• 10 ft. wide shared use paths on both sides of the road
• Overpass that carries Belmont Ridge Road over the W&OD Trail with direct bicycle/pedestrian connections from the road to the trail
• Replacement parking lot for the W&OD Trail users
• Noise mitigation
To view a map of the proposed project, click here.
Project Costs: $78.5 million
Due to funding constraints, VDOT has organized this project into at least two segments. The first segment spans Gloucester Parkway to Route 7 and the second segment from the Dulles Greenway to Gloucester Parkway. The first segment is fully funded, while the second is accumulating funds for right of way acquisition and construction.
• Preliminary Engineering - $5.2 million
• Right of Way Acquisition and Utility Relocation
o Gloucester Parkway to Route 7 - $8.1 million
o Dulles Greenway to Gloucester Parkway - $7.6 million
o Gloucester Parkway to Route 7 - $23.0 million
o Dulles Greenway to Gloucester Parkway - $45.5 million
• Early 2008 - Evaluations of public hearing comments and design approval.
• Late 2008 – Begin right of way acquisition (Gloucester Parkway to Route 7)
• Late 2010 – Advertisement for Construction (Gloucester Parkway to Route 7)
VDOT’s Northern Virginia District Environmental Section has determined that this project will not significantly impact wetlands, streams or endangered species and will not involve significant air, noise, or water quality impacts.
In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the least environmentally damaging, practical, and feasible options have been incorporated in the development of the project.
Mr. James C. Zeller, P.E.
Virginia Department of Transportation
41 Lawson Road, SE
Leesburg, Virginia 20175