Supervisors OK Sycolin Flyover Design
The $20 million project should begin next year and requires closure of the bypass intersection during construction.
The Loudoun Board of Supervisors Tuesday night signed off on the design for the Sycolin Road flyover project, and trees presented the only real hiccup.
The $19.6 million project includes an overpass to carry Sycolin Road over the Route 7/Route 15 Bypass in Leesburg to replace the existing intersection, including the traffic signal and turn lanes, from the Bypass to Sycolin Road. The result would eliminate access between Sycolin and the bypass. Planners also hope the project relieves a significant clog for commuters who use either road daily.
Plans call for a sidewalk along the southbound lanes and a bicycle/pedestrian path along the northbound lanes. Earth embankments or retaining walls are planned where necessary along Sycolin.
Supervisors Suzanne Volpe (R-Algonkian) said she has a philosophical problem with the Virginia Department of Transportation’s practice of including landscaping with project, such as the trees planned along the Sycolin sound walls.
“We can’t get crosswalks done. We can’t get basic stuff done, but we’re looking at money that can be used for transportation and we want to plant trees in front of a 20-foot wall,” she said, adding that there are no trees beautifying the area where Fairfax County Parkway and Algonkian Parkway come together.
VDOT representative Jim Zeller said that the agency has a policy now that was not in place when that Sterling project was constructed. Now, he said, VDOT projects include landscaping. He also offered to eliminate the trees along Sycolin if supervisors so preferred.
Supervisor Ken Reid (R-Leesburg) kept the tree issue alive by adding a phrase to his motion calling for the trees. But he clarified that it’s only a request.
“It’s a request. That’s all,” Reid said.
A staff member also pointed out that the trees would be similar to landscaping near the Leesburg Wegmans.
The project is fully funded with state and federal funds. Construction should begin in the summer of 2013, with completion anticipated by fall 2014.
As planned, the work will require closure of Sycolin at the intersection during construction. A detour will be setup. Options that would allow the intersection to remain open were considered cost-prohibitive.