Thursday, Mar 23, 2017

Embark Richmond Highway

Source: William F. Yurasko

On May 12, 2015, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors initiated Embark Richmond Highway to facilitate multimodal transportation improvements in the Richmond Highway Corridor. The County’s efforts respond to recommendations from the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT). The County’s review requires input from a variety of County agencies, as well as cooperation with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and federal agencies. Embark intends to widen Richmond Highway (Route 1) to a consistent six lanes, establish Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) with nine (9) stations along the corridor from Huntington to Fort Belvoir, and plan for a future two-stop expansion of Metro’s Yellow Line to Beacon Hill and Hybla Valley.

The County is currently analyzing a Comprehensive Plan amendment that will modify land use recommendations, provide urban design guidelines, and include policy guidance to support BRT and the future Metro. A 13-member advisory group meets monthly to discuss the County’s progress and analysis. At present, the County is refining the proposed land use recommendations for use in its Transportation Impact Analysis, which will be submitted to VDOT in early May. The goal is for the amendment to proceed to public hearing before the Planning Commission in December 2017 and before the Board in January 2018. VDOT is concurrently working on the design for the widening of Richmond Highway. Federally required Environmental Assessments are ongoing as are design efforts. A public hearing on the design is anticipated to be held in May 2018. The widening of a portion of Richmond Highway is expected to be accomplished by 2025 and BRT is planned to open in 2028. More information on Embark can be found on the County’s website.