Making a Key Rosslyn Intersection Safer

Published on January 30, 2017

A major project planned to begin this year will make a high-volume Rosslyn intersection at Lee Highway-North Lynn Street-Custis Trail safer for the many cyclists and pedestrians traveling through the area every day. Hundreds  of vehicles exit I-66 every hour at the spot.

The County has made important operational improvements to the intersection — once one of the top five in Arlington for collisions — that already have significantly lowered collisions. But this spring, VDOT will seek construction bids for the Lynn Street Esplanade and Custis Trail Improvements project, which will bring major physical upgrades to the Rosslyn intersection of westbound Lee Highway, North Lynn Street and the Custis Trail.

"With the Rosslyn intersection project located within the state's right-of-way and requiring significant VDOT coordination and approvals, it makes sense for VDOT to lead the construction phase," said Dennis Leach, Arlington's Director of Transportation. "VDOT also has the necessary expertise to do the structural work required on Lynn Street over I-66."

[caption id="attachment_10988" align="alignright" width="300"]aerial view of Lynn Street Esplanade (A) North Lynn St. from EB Lee Highway to WB Lee Higwy. (B) Custis Trail: WB Lee Hgwy. from N. Lynn St. to N. Oak St.[/caption]

The project will make it safer to walk or cycle along North Lynn Street and Lee Highway, and improve traffic management. Sidewalks will be widened; traffic signals and on-street bike lanes will be improved. New streetlights will be installed, trees will be planted and the "Corridor of Light" public art project -- stainless steel sculptures at each of the four corners of the I-66 bridge -- will add visual interest. The planned improvements arose from three studies: the 1999 Esplanade Study, the 2003 Rosslyn Circle Safety Study and the 2006 Lynn Street Esplanade Preliminary Design Study. The project aligns with the goals of Arlington's Complete Streets program to expand safe travel options for all. It

A wider, safer Custis trail is a key element of the planned improvements. The 5.12-mile paved trail runs alongside I-66 from the Mount Vernon Trail in Rosslyn to the W&OD Trail near Falls Church. Now 10-feet wide with a three-foot buffer, the trail — from N. Oak Street to N. Lynn Street - will be widened to 16 feet, with a six-foot buffer, to make cyclists feel safer. Traffic lanes will be narrowed and curb ramps widened. Curb extensions will be added. The County has completed engineering design and is transferring the project to VDOT to build.

VDOT will use its state-wide procurement system to advertise, award and administer construction.

Construction is expected to begin in fall 2017. The project is expected to be completed in fall 2019.

View a presentation on the project design.