Updated plans for the Boundary Channel Interchange Improvement Project were presented at the Arlington County Transportation Commission Meeting on April 28th, 2021. The project includes building a multiuse trail connecting Long Bridge Drive near the aquatics center to the Mount Vernon Trail. The plans incorporate several improvements requested through public outreach. Major changes to the plan include:
Widening of the trail on the north side.
Moving the trail further away from the roadway.
Straightening the approaches where the trail crosses on and off ramps. These previously had tight 90 degree turns.
Installation of Rapid Flashing Beacons at ramp crossings.
Requests for Proposals for a Design-Build contract were released February 28th with an expected award this summer. Construction is expected to begin in the Spring of 2022 with completion expected in the Fall of 2023. The presentation to the Transportation Commission is in the video below.
The Arlington County Board approved the major design elements of a VDOT project that will redesign and rebuild the Boundary Channel Drive Intersection. This project will provide a new connection to the Mount Vernon Trail from National Landing and Long Bridge Park.
Boundary Channel Drive will be reduced from four lanes to two, and two crossroad ramps along the drive will be converted to roundabouts. VDOT will build an 8-foot-wide sidewalk on the south side of the drive and a 12-foot shared-use path along its north side. A trail will connect to the Mount Vernon Trail and to a new loop trail around the Arlington County Aquatics and Fitness Center to the Long Bridge Park esplanade.
VDOT is managing the project through a design/build contract with design already underway. Work is expected to begin this year.
Arlington County and the Virginia Department of Transportation are undertaking a redesign of the Boundary Channel Drive interchange with 395 that will provide a new trail connection to the Mount Vernon Trail. The project would provide a safer and more direct link between Long Bridge Drive and the MVT and improve access to LBJ Memorial Grove.
Public comment is open at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/5K29BJC until December 27th. The Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail encourage trail users to provide comments on this fantastic new trail connection. Our thoughts as VDOT enters the design phase, which you are welcome to borrow for your comments:
1. This project is great and will provide a new trail connection to the Mount Vernon Trail and LBJ Memorial Grove.
2. The turn radii of the interchanges should be tighter to slow vehicle traffic. This will help prevent vehicle crashes as well as pedestrian and cyclist crashes.
3. The trail and interchanges should include lighting.
4. The crosswalks should be raised to slow vehicle traffic to reduce the risk of crashes.
5. The crosswalks should have Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFBs) activated automatically when pedestrians and cyclists approach to reduce the risk of crashes with motor vehicles.
6. The exit ramps from 395 currently present a long runway that encourages fast motor vehicle travel. Engineering should done to ensure vehicles slow as they exit including curved lanes, rumble strips and lane narrowing.
7. The project should include trail signage to help direct trail users to and from the Mount Vernon Trail as well nearby facilities such as bathrooms, recreation areas and businesses.