Local Commentary

A Penny for Your Thoughts: News of Greater Falls Church


It seems that everywhere you turn these days, construction projects are underway. Fortunately, for motorists and pedestrians alike, several of them are close to completion. The temporary above-ground pipes along Sleepy Hollow Road will be removed soon, as the emergency sanitary sewer repair project winds down. That project has been hampered by some recent sewage overflows because of both weather and component failure, but the most recent testing of water samples at several locations in Lake Barcroft detected no human bacteroides.

The repaving of Columbia Pike, undertaken by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), the state agency that maintains and operates roads in Fairfax County, should be completed in early July, weather permitting. Final paving and striping should make the washboard-like surface that resulted from the milling process smooth and safer for drivers. Crosswalks will be repainted as part of the state project.

Two long-awaited pedestrian projects in Annandale are important to revitalization efforts to make the downtown area more walkable. The sidewalk along Columbia Pike at Annandale United Methodist Church is complete, and careful construction preserved the magnificent willow oak tree that defines the gateway to Annandale. Farther along Columbia Pike, a brick paver walkway and an improved streetscape are being installed from Fire Station 8 to the Bank of America building, replacing a tilted and sometimes flooded sidewalk. Along with the repaving project, this stretch of Columbia Pike has proven especially challenging for residents as improvements are underway.

More good news! Metro officials announced this week the date of the grand opening of the new Silver Line – Saturday, July 26. The announcement was a “Save the Date” notification, with additional information to follow, but means that revenue service at the new stations through Tysons is almost here. The Silver Line is a major, multi-billion dollar, investment in the future of our region. Hooray!

Monday’s Seven Corners Task Force public comment meeting was well-attended, and the Task Force members received a lot of community input from civic representatives and residents. The Task Force plans to incorporate what they heard into future discussions, and will continue to meet monthly, with the next meeting scheduled for Tuesday, July 8, at 7 p.m. at the Mason District Governmental Center. Task Force recommendations are anticipated in September.

The balloon you may see flying above J.E.B. Stuart High School on Saturday morning is not some secret information gathering gadget. Rather, it will be used to evaluate the proposed location for a wireless telecommunications facility. The 100’ light replacement pole would be located on the stadium field lights adjacent to the track and athletic field. The application by AT&T and Milestone Communications will need Planning Commission approval prior to installation. To learn more about the proposal, log on to www.jebstuartwirelesspole.com.


 Penny Gross is the Mason District Supervisor, in the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. She may be emailed at mason@fairfaxcounty.gov.