Question: How long does a roadway project take to complete in Loudoun County?
Answer: Well there appears to be 2 answers to that question. The first answer is if you have an elected official with no sense of urgency, in this case Supervisor Geary Higgins, who made, in rather condescending terms, the following statement to a constituent which was recently forwarded to us:
“I think it is important to understand that infrastructure projects in Loudoun are a function of legislative action by the county board as a whole. Once that legislative action occurs, then it is the responsibility of the county staff to run and manage the project. Individual Supervisors do not hire consultants, instruct staff or run these projects. However, I along with my staff have been very involved with the Route 15 project, more than at any other time in the county’s history. Additionally, the process of wide-reaching community engagement, that has been used for the Route 15 project, has never happened in Loudoun before and was developed by my office.”
Higgins further goes on to state, “My understanding is that 20 years is the norm for transportation planning and that jurisdictions use 20-year time blocks for planning and forecasting purposes. When we met with Maryland officials they used the same 20-year time blocks. As for your continued misrepresentation of the 10-year timeline, you know that number is a worst case scenario and we are working to reduce the timeline.”
The second answer to the question of how long does a roadway project take to complete in Loudoun County was delivered in a report titled “Capital Project Procurement and Process”. https://lfportal.loudoun.gov/LFPortalinternet/0/edoc/201806/FGOEDC%20Item%2012%20Capital%20Project%20and%20Process.pdf. Mr. Joseph Kroboth, Director of the Department of Transportation and Capital Infrastructure (DTCI) provided this report on June 14, 2016 to the Board of Supervisors Financial/Government Operations and Economic Development Committee. In the report is the following statement on pg. 12 regarding roadway project timelines:
“Overall, depending on the various issues associated with a roadway project, including the size and complexity, the entire project delivery from the point of appropriation in the CIP for a design-bid-build project can take from 36 months (3 years) to 86 months (7.2 years) to complete with full project closeout to follow.” And yet Higgins allowed the County Transportation staff to submit a funding request application of $54M to the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) with a 10 year timeline for a 3.5 mile roadway project without even reviewing it for quality assurance AND reasonableness for timely completion!!!
So the answer from Supervisor Higgins is basically “I create the legislation and rely on the staff to do their job.” What Supervisor Higgins has failed (yet again) to realize is that as an elected official he has an “OVERSIGHT” responsibility to his constituents to make sure they receive services in a timely manner. The 10 YEAR project timeline created by the Loudoun County transportation staff for a 3.5 mile road is not just unacceptable – it is OUTRAGEOUS! For Supervisor Higgins now to make the excuse to blame staff for the timeline and not declare it as unacceptable and wrong is REPREHENSIBLE and he should RECTIFY IT IMMEDIATELY!
Supervisory Higgins, where is the new CORRECTED timeline, urgency and leadership to Fix Route 15 Now?