VDOT Announces Major Repaving Work on Fairfax County Parkway Coming this Spring
Over the spring and summer the Virginia Department of Transportation plans to repave 24 miles of the 32-mile, six-lane Fairfax County Parkway between Route 7 in Dranesville and Rolling Road in Springfield. The $19 million maintenance project will take place mostly at night and on weekends, and will require lane closures and occasional detours.
In advance of the work, VDOT is holding four community meetings along the corridor to communicate the work plan and schedule. Each meeting will begin at 7 p.m.
- April 11: Armstrong Elementary School, 11900 Lake Newport Rd, Reston, VA 20194
- April 17: Robinson Secondary School, 5035 Sideburn Road, Fairfax, VA 22032
- April 24: VDOT District Office, 4975 Alliance Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030
- May 2: West Springfield High School, 6100,Rolling Rd, Springfield, VA 22152
While work will begin in April and be complete in October, the heaviest traffic impacts will be scheduled from June until Labor Day, when Fairfax County schools are out for the summer.
Crews will re-pave the northern section of the Parkway first, from Route 7 to Baron Cameron Avenue (Route 606).
Sections of the Parkway that will not be repaved include the construction work zone area at Fairfax Lakes Parkway and locations that were paved in the last five years.
The General Assembly completed the 2012 regular session on Saturday evening shortly before 10 p.m. This last week was extremely busy as the House and Senate worked to negotiate joint compromises on many bills that will now be sent to the Governor.
Unfortunately, the Senate has still not been able to pass a state budget, although a group of Senators is working informally with Members of the House Appropriations Committee to suggest amendments to the House-passed budget that might be acceptable to a majority of Senators. This process is expected to continue for at least two weeks. When an agreement is reached, we will return to Richmond for a “special session” to vote on the budget.
The House-passed budget, which I supported, is a balanced budget and provides for increases in transportation funding as well as funding increases for Fairfax and Loudoun County schools. It also includes funding to increase the number of in-state students in Virginia’s public universities. I made a specific budget request to support the enrollment of more in-state students.
With several hundred bills having passed the House and Senate, it is now a busy time for Governor McDonnell, who must decide to sign, amend, or veto the bills. The General Assembly will return to Richmond on April 18 to consider bills he vetoes or seeks to amend.
I’ll only touch on a few issues in this message in the interest of brevity, but please feel free to view my voting record by going to www.LeMunyon.com and clicking on “voting record.” Be sure to look up my name on the drop down menu. As you may know, I was the first member of the General Assembly to post my voting record on the Internet, and I authored legislation that passed in 2011 to make this a requirement for all House members. I’ll keep you informed as the Governor makes his decisions on bills and the budget negotiations continue.
I am pleased to report that nine bills I introduced passed both the House and Senate with strong bipartisan votes and will be considered by the Governor. These bills address my priorities of transportation, education, and government reform. I also had a hand in drafting or amending bills introduced by other members, including the state budget. These bills are summarized below, with links to the actual text of the bills.
H.B. 599 requires that planned transportation projects in Northern Virginia be given a rating to determine the amount of congestion reduction achieved per dollar spent on each project. In this way, we can identify the highest priority projects that offer the biggest “bang for the buck.”
H.B. 601 improves the governance rules of the board that oversees Metrorail and Metrobus, and provides a permanent seat on the board for the Commonwealth of Virginia. I believe these steps are needed to better monitor how more than $100 million in annual state tax dollars are used, as well as our fare dollars, especially given the cost overruns and safety problems that Metro has encountered in recent years.
H.B. 625 requires VDOT to review changes in local zoning and land use plans in Northern Virginia, specifically to identify whether such changes might increase traffic congestion or reduce our mobility in the event of a homeland security emergency. The results would be made available to local governments and the public every time changes in land use are proposed.
H.B. 626 provides for a local government role, in addition to VDOT, in evaluating increased traffic noise in order to help local governments make better decisions about the placement of sound walls and use of quiet pavement technology.
H.B. 603 provides a model policy for adoption by local school boards, if they choose, to establish procedures in which students can attend a public school other than their assigned school. Certain limitations would apply to avoid overcrowding schools, for example. This model policy is particularly intended to address situations that arise with changes in school attendance areas. Similar provisions of law exist in 46 other states.
As a subcommittee chairman on the Education Committee, I also played a role in passing H.B. 1063, to allow local school boards to begin the school year before Labor Day. This bill passed the House by an overwhelming majority, but was defeated in the Senate.
H.B. 609 requires any person engaged in a trade or business licensed by the state to present proof to any customer that they are licensed legally. This bill aims to help you identify fraudulent service providers.
H.B. 620 makes technical changes to Virginia law regarding the use of IT services within the state government.
H.B. 1277 permits local governments to enforce state law requiring persons offering home contracting services (electrical, plumbing, HVAC, etc.) to be properly licensed by the state. This bill has a purpose similar to H.B. 609 but is specific to home contracting. This bill idea originated from a constituent in the 67th district.
H.B. 621 repeals two outdated sections of Virginia law related to WW II-era housing projects.
I also participated in amending H.B. 1291, legislation proposed by the Governor to eliminate unnecessary state boards and commissions. The original bill would have (unintentionally) made it easier for state government agencies to compete with private businesses in Virginia. My amendments corrected problem.
The House and Senate also passed legislation to reform the state pension system to ensure its long term solvency. I supported these measures, which do not affect persons who are already vested in the state retirement system. Some changes will affect local government employees, including teachers, who have worked fewer than five years. Most changes will affect employees hired in the future.
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Throughout the session, many of you have written or called my office to express your views on legislation before the General Assembly. Thank you. I value your suggestions and comments and hope that you will continue to contact my office now that the session has adjourned. I can be reached by phone, 703-264-1432, or by email, DelJLeMunyon@house.virginia.gov.
I will also stay in close contact with VDOT related to several ongoing transportation projects in our area, and to follow up on the several suggestions for road and safety improvements I have received recently from many of you.
Please keep in touch. It’s good to be home working and visiting with the people I have the honor to represent.
The General Assembly completed the second to last week of the 2012 session. Below you’ll find an update on this week’s happenings in the district as well as in Richmond.
But first, I want to offer congratulations on a job well done to the Oakton High School girls’ varsity swim team for earning first place at the AAA state meet on February 18! My colleague, Delegate Mark Keam (D-Fairfax) and I will introduce a resolution in the House of Delegates next week recognizing the girls’ swim team for their big win.
Route 50 Widening Project
This week, I heard from several constituents living in South Riding about the excessive congestion caused by a one-mile lane closure as part of the Route 50 widening project. I reported these concerns to VDOT immediately, and VDOT expects that the third lane on eastbound Route 50 between Stonecroft Boulevard and Route 28 will be re-opened by Monday, March 5. VDOT engineers as well as the construction contractor are reviewing options for completing the next phase of work, endeavoring to reduce the project’s impact on congestion.
Recently, the House of Delegates passed an amended version of the Governor’s proposed budget on a bipartisan basis. The budget takes effect July 1, 2012 for two years. The House version of the budget was defeated by the Senate, and the Senate was also unable to generate enough votes (21 are required) to pass its own version of the budget. The ball is now in Senate’s court to decide how they are going to proceed. The Senate is evenly split 20-20 between Republicans and Democrats which has created a challenge for the body to agree on a budget.
It is especially important that the budget is agreed upon and that the process does not drag out because there are many entities, such as school systems, local governments and state agencies, that have already started their planning for the next fiscal year. They depend on state funding and need to know exactly how much funding the state will provide. It is my hope that the Senators will work out their differences and compromise on a budget plan before March 10, which is the date the General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn the 2012 session.
This week, I held a telephone town hall meeting to discuss the legislative session and take questions from constituents. Thank you to everyone who participated. As always, please contact my office if you have any questions about the legislation we are considering in Richmond. I can be reached at by phone, 703-264-1432, or by email, DelJLeMunyon@house.virginia.gov. Additionally, my voting record is available on my website, www.LeMunyon.com.
Coming to a Close
A total of eight bills that I introduced have passed the House and Senate and are on the way to the Governor for his signature, with one last transportation bill that I introduced still pending. Next week is our last scheduled week of the 2012 legislative session. Be on the lookout for our end of session wrap up next week.