The Fairfax County Department of Transportation has denied a request by the South County Federation to modify its plan for the median at the intersection of Lorton Rd. and Workhouse Way as part of the Lorton Road Widening project.
Workhouse Way, a small roadway near the intersection of Ox Rd. and Lorton Rd., currently allows western access to the Workhouse Arts Center. But development plans include building a median that will allow right-only turns into and out of the campus off Lorton Rd.
The Federation asked that the construction of the median be postponed until the Lorton Arts Foundation (which manages the Arts Center) builds a new access road at the rear of the facility to improve traffic flow.
As it stands, once construction begins, traffic departing the Workhouse will not be able to go south on Ox Rd. without executing a u-turn somewhere on either Lorton Rd. or Ox Rd.
“The Lorton Arts Foundation must ensure an emergency plan that provides for efficient evacuation of the campus,” according to the Federation resolution, which was passed in May.
Fairfax County responded with a letter last month.
“Providing full, un-signalled access at Lorton Road/Workhouse Way would generate unacceptable safety concerns and operational conflicts, particularly for traffic attempting to exit Workhouse Way and cross or enter the dual left turn lanes on Lorton Rd.,” wrote Fairfax County Department of Transportation Director Tom Biesiadny.
During Lorton Road construction “interim access to the Workhouse site from eastbound Lorton Rd. should be made from southbound Rt. 123. A U-turn can be made at the signalized intersection of Route 123/Occoquan Regional Park Rd.,” wrote Biesiadny.
The $66 million improvement project for Lorton Road will be put out to bid this fall, which can be a three-to-four month process. The Lorton Road project is funded by $20 million from the Fairfax County November 2007 Transportation Bond Referendum, $1.3 million from developer contributions and $45 million from the Commercial Real Estate Tax for Transportation program.
The project includes improvements to Lorton Road from Route 123 to Silverbrook Road, and Furnace Road from Route 123 to Lorton Road. It will include the installation of 90 degree intersections, on-road bike lanes, dedicated turn lanes, 10-foot-wide shared use paths and new bridges over Giles Run and the Greenway Trail.
The Federation will discuss the matter at its next meeting, Tues. Sept. 10, 2013, at 7:30 p.m. in the South County High School library.