Traffic congestion on Old Bridge Road continues to be a nuisance for many Prince William County commuters.
Supervisor Ruth Anderson held a Town hall meeting on Wednesday that focused on the issue.
The meeting took place at Westminster at Lake Ridge.
To provide some congestion relief, Anderson and her staff are turning to Route 123.
Anderson’s office has suggested that drivers be allowed to use the shoulder lane on I-95 South as they get onto Route 123. The project is pending approval.
“What we’re trying to do is relieve traffic from 123 to the parkway, and that’s where the shoulder lane would be in use,” Anderson said. “Because a lot of people come onto Old Bridge Road, that’s part of the problem. They see all that traffic ahead or their Waze [app] on their iPhone tells them, ‘There’s no hope ahead.’ So they come off onto Old Bridge Road.”
If the project is approved, officials would need to determine how the project will be funded.
Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants can be used to help fund infrastructure projects, according to Congressman Gerry Connolly’s representative Briana Sewell.
Connolly, Sewell explained, is understanding of the transportation issues Prince William residents are facing.
Each year, when TIGER grant funding becomes available, Connolly’s office reaches out to offices in the county and cities he represents and asks about grants that have been submitted.
Prince William County did not receive any TIGER grants last year.
“Hopefully, given that we are having this town hall this evening … there will be some submissions that are made so that we can offer our support and help push for these issues,” Sewell said.
Town hall attendees provided various suggestions that could improve traffic congestion on Old Bridge Road. Those ideas included adding road and pavement signs that direct drivers to I-95 North and South.
Many drivers coming from Manassas use Old Bridge Road as a cut-through to I-95, according to Anderson.
To reduce the Manassas traffic, officials added a large, green Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) sign that points commuters to I-95. The sign is located before Old Bridge Road.
The turn lane at the intersection of Minnieville and Old Bridge Road has been lengthened, as well.
According to Anderson, the number of Prince William County residents is expected to continue growing in the coming years. The population for Maryland, Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C., could grow by 1 million people by 2040.
“There’s more people coming our way; there’s many, many houses — thousands of houses — that can be built in Prince William County by right,” Anderson said. “They don’t even come through our board in order to be approved … We’re trying to do things that will help and prepare, and vote on things that make sense to the growth.”
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