A little local color: Russell Branch Parkway finally opens in Loudoun

A now for something with a little local flavor… I took note from The Loudoun Scoop this past week that the Russell Branch Parkway opened up, interconnecting Ashburn a bit more. From Leesburg Today:

It’s been more than two years since local government and business leaders gathered on the property of One Loudoun to break ground on the much-needed extension of Russell Branch Parkway. This morning many of those same people officially opened the road, which was largely completed by early 2009, but remained closed to traffic awaiting VDOT approval.

Russell Branch Parkway now extends from Loudoun County Parkway to Ashbrook, providing residents with a way to access the Ashburn North Park and Ride Lot without using Rt. 7 east of Ashburn Village Boulevard, as well as allowing Potomac Green residents to get to the Ashbrook Commons Plaza shopping center while avoiding Rt. 7, and its traffic.

Actually it extends past the Loudoun County Parkway over to Richfield Way which houses Strayer University’s Ashburn branch, among other things. (In fact, the linked map only shows that section since the part that extends past the Loudoun County Parkway to the west is the part that’s just opened.

This has been a bit of an irritant to me this past year. Having a fully-built, operational 4-lane divided parkway sitting unused while traffic on the parallel Route 7 crawls in perpetual gridlock just irks me. This wasn’t a question of whether the road should be built or not. It was already built and ready to go. It just took a year for someone at VDOT to finally get around to approving it. Another irritation: we know that VDOT’s approval was delaying things. However, even this story about the road finally opening doesn’t mention what the holdup was all about. Considering the road itself was built in about a year, I’d really like to know what part of paperwork took as long.

In any case, we made use of the road yesterday to head over to Harris Teeter and some surrounding businesses. It looks good but word apparently hasn’t spread about it being opened, yet. I’m sure that’ll come. Now if someone can just fix the squeeze-from-4-lanes-to-2-and-back situation at Loudoun County Parkway at Redskins Park, that would make the Loudoun County Parkway a truly usable north-south connector.

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2 comments

  1. Ric,
    I talked with BOS folks a few times about Loudoun County Pkwy at Redskins Park and was told that the issue there is Lerner – they own the property but have no incentive to pay for getting the road done, nor even to give permission someone else if it could be paid for another way. In other words, there’s nothing in it for them, so they sit on the undeveloped property.
    Talk with Lori Waters about it, she has an interesting perspective.

  2. […] Fair enough. But what I’d like to see is a raise in the speed limit of some of the more traveled roads up this way. I’d like to see the Dulles Access Road limit raised to 65 or even just 60. I realize that at certain times of the day getting to as high as 45 on that road would be something to shout about, but you know what I mean. Route 28 is a 6-lane divided highway for much (if not all) of the run from where it starts at Route 7 in the north to the intersection with I-66. While there are traffic issues on that road as well, it could also do with a raise in the limit. I’d also like to see the Loudoun County Parkway brought up to at least 55. (And we still need that section where it insanely drops to a 25 mph zone fixed.) […]

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