county govt bldg.jpg

The Loudoun County Government Center on Harrison Street in Leesburg.

County supervisors on Monday unanimously signed off on the finance committee’s recommendation to add several new projects to their long-range construction plans and moving some road projects up in the schedule.

The finance committee added an Eastern Loudoun Community Arts Center and Southern Services Center similar in concept to the government offices on Ridgetop Circle in Sterling to the Capital Improvement Program’s list of projects identified for future development. That does not yet mean they are funded—first county staff members and supervisors will have to develop more specific plans for what those would entail, and then create a plan to fund them. But it does put them on the list to potentially become a reality one day, and also opens the door to making deals with developers to help fund or build them as a condition of approving a rezoning application.

Supervisors also delayed indefinitely a project to extend Prentice Drive from Lockridge Road across Loudoun County Parkway to connect to the intersection of Shellhorn Road and Metro Center Drive. That freed up roughly $120.3 million in the county’s capital budget from fiscal years 2024 to 2026. The county has already spent $29.7 million on the project for designing the project, buying land and other expenses.

Delaying that project allowed supervisors to move several other road projects, including part of a project to connect Shellhorn Road across Dulles Airport property to Moran Road, with construction moving up a year to fiscal year 2026. And the project to widen Rt. 7 between Loudoun County Parkway and Rt. 28 will be moved up a year to begin construction in fiscal year 2029.

And although construction on the project is still planned in the years beyond the capital budget’s six-year horizon, supervisors voted to move plans to buy land for an interchange at the intersection of Rt. 50 and Loudoun County Parkway. Supervisors added $25.8 million to the project in fiscal year 2028, the final year of the current capital plan, for that use.

That helps the county lock down land that it already knows it will need for that project eventually on the northwestern quadrant of the planned interchange. Supervisor Matthew F. Letourneau (R-Dulles) said during the March 8 finance committee meeting that moving that funding up could help the county win state and federal funds for the project, and that the project would finally provide a safe pedestrian path across Rt. 50.

“It's hugely important. This is in the top three intersections in the county for crash data every single year. There are no pedestrian crossings. So it is my number one thing to try to get done before I leave or die,” he said.

Already there could be a complication to the project—is a burial ground on that land.

“There is a family plot located roughly in the middle of the parcel,” Department of Transportation and Capital Infrastructure Assistant Director Jim Zeller said. “Depending on the final configuration of any interchange that would be planned at that location, it is not necessarily a foregone conclusion that that plot would be physically impacted by the future interchange. We’d have to get into a fair amount of design before we could confirm that.”

Other changes to the capital budget reflect rapidly growing costs for school projects attributable to inflation and the construction market.

“Difficult decisions had to be made, and so the School Board always prioritizes new seats and ability to deliver instructions,” Loudoun County Public Schools Chief Operations Officer Kevin Lewis said.

Those changes to the capital budget will be formalized when supervisors adopt the Capital Improvement Program as part of the county’s overarching budget, scheduled for early April.

Supervisors also agreed with the finance committee’s recommendation to discuss funding a weight room expansion, press boxes and tennis court lighting at Dominion High School and Heritage High School and press boxes and tennis court lighting at Potomac Falls High School during end of year fund balance discussions in December.

Renss Greene is the deputy editor of Loudoun Now. He primarily covers Loudoun County government.

(1) comment


Why is the county funding roadway construction, when it is the stare job to build roads. Just a few years ago we were inflicted with the largest state tax increase in Virginia history to "pay for roads". Yet every year there is a massive bond issue on the ballot for the county to "pay for roads". If the county keeps volunteering to pay for roads, do you think the state will ever do it?

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