Traffic-clogged Va. 28 will undergo another study to see if intersection upgrades or other changes might bring some relief to area commuters, Del. Danica Roem announced Monday.
The study will examine whether it makes sense to replace the stoplights at five intersections along the Va. 28 corridor between Blooms Quarry Lane and the Bull Run bridge at the Prince William and Fairfax County line.
Alternatives considered include roundabouts, overpasses, fly-overs and other concepts. The study will cost about $300,000 and should provide some recommendations by the end of the year, said Roem, D-13th.
“When I ran for office in 2017, the number one issue I heard from voters in Manassas and Manassas Park was that they were spending too much time on the road and not enough time with their families," Roem said.
“This study will give us a new opportunity to comprehensively analyze alternative intersection designs along the Route 28 corridor in Yorkshire.”
Roem, 34, a lifelong resident of Manassas, made fixing Va. 28 the centerpiece of her campaign for the Virginia House of Delegates. During her two years in office, the freshman delegate proposed two bills – HJ 68 and HB 2466 – that sought funding to study and ultimately remove traffic lights along the Centreville Road corridor in an effort to improve traffic flow.
Both measures were unsuccessful in the GOP-led General Assembly. But Roem worked with VDOT officials who agreed to use existing funding to launch the new study, Roem said.
Roem noted the study is being conducted while Prince William County officials await the results of an environmental analysis of a proposed Va. 28 bypass. The bypass would be a new, 3.5 mile road that would extend Godwin Drive beyond Va. 234 Business and wind behind Manassas-area neighborhoods to reconnect with Va. 28 at the Fairfax County line.
The proposed bypass is slated to cost about $300 million.
The county hopes to have the results of the environmental study, which is being conducted by the federal highway administration, before Prince William County voters go to the polls Nov. 5 to cast their votes on a proposed $355 million road bond that would dedicate $200 million toward the bypass or an alternative plan to widen the road from four lanes to six through Manassas and Manassas Park.
Roem said she is remaining neutral on the bond question – for now – until the environmental study is complete. She said the intersection study will allow residents to have an alternative plan on the table, no matter what voters decide.
“The intersections have to be fixed no matter what happens with the bond referendum this fall,” Roem said. “We need alternative intersections to make the commute for my constituents safer and quicker.”
Once the study is complete, state and local officials will still need to determine which intersection fixes to pursue and how to pay for them.
State Sens. Jeremy McPike, D-29th, George Barker, D-39th, and Manassas Park Mayor Jeanette Rishell and others also attended Roem’s announcement, which she made in the parking lot of at Emmanuel Christian School, the back of which faces Va. 28.
As traffic whizzed by on the busy roadway, the other Democratic officials lent their support to the study and Roem’s efforts.
"I appreciate having Delegate Roem as a dedicated colleague in the House focusing on Route 28,” McPike said in a statement. McPike also represents parts of the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park as well as a portion of the Route 28 corridor.
“We need all options on the table to provide long overdue relief for our community."
Reach Jill Palermo at email@example.com