Issue 23 | April 2021
Along about seven miles of Route 7, we're adding a third lane and shared-use paths in each direction, building a pedestrian underpass to access Colvin Run Mill Park, replacing and raising the bridge over Difficult Run, and making many intersection, bicycle and pedestrian improvements. Learn more.
Construction and Design Updates
In March, crews continued construction activities along the corridor:

Area 1 West: Reston Avenue to Baron Cameron Avenue:
  • Continued noise barrier construction between Reston Avenue and Utterback Store Road.
  • Completed construction of the retaining wall along westbound Route 7 west of Utterback Store Road.
  • Storm sewer installation and earth-moving activities continued between Reston Avenue and Baron Cameron Avenue.

Area 1 East: Baron Cameron Avenue to Colvin Forest Drive:
  • Continued relocating approximately 1,100 feet of the Fairfax County Water Authority's 54-inch water main on the east side of Colvin Forest Drive along eastbound Route 7. 

  • Stage 2 construction pending right-of-way acquisition.

  • Completed construction of the east half of the box culvert under Carpers Farm Way.  
  • Completed the installation of the articulated block lining in the new Colvin Run channel and prepared for stream activation.
  • Continued excavation and began installing the concrete footers for the pedestrian tunnel under Route 7. 
  • Began demolition of the southern half of the existing bridge over Difficult Run.

  • Water main relocation work between Beulah Road and Towlston Road was ongoing.

Design work continues for landscaping. Third-party utility design and relocation activities are also ongoing.  

Click here to learn more on the design and construction schedule, environmental efforts, right of way, noise walls and other project details.

Removal of the eastbound Route 7 bridge deck over Difficult Run.

Silt fence and rip-rap prevent erosion where Colvin Run meets Difficult Run.
Colvin Run Stream Realignment

On April 2, the Route 7 team activated the new Colvin Run stream channel between Carpers Farm Way and Difficult Run. This segment of Colvin Run was previously realigned to a straight channel in the late 1960s as part of the widening of Route 7 from two to four lanes. In the 50 years since that time, the stream channel has experienced erosion and channel migration, and has cut into the existing embankment along eastbound Route 7. The new stream alignment is a first step in the work in this area that will facilitate widening Route 7 to the south, including utility relocations, construction of the architecturally-treated retaining wall, and raising and rebuilding the Difficult Run bridge to reduce flooding.

Designed to reduce flooding and erosion along the approach to Difficult Run, the new stream channel has been constructed of articulated concrete blocks (ACBs) that guard against ongoing erosion and allow for vegetation to develop over time, as soil is deposited into the vertical cores and spaces in the blocks by water running through the channel. ACBs are frequently used in areas where erosion is an issue, but a solid concrete surface or channel is undesirable. Staggered wooden weirs have also been installed in the stream channel bed, which will encourage the build-up of sediment and permit natural vegetation growth within the channel.

While VDOT’s original concept for this relocation included construction of a meandering stream design, the concept was determined by the environmental agencies to cause too much impact to the adjacent forested wetlands. In 2017, as part of a revised environmental assessment, VDOT considered 15 stream relocation options. Out of the 15 options, the newly-constructed straight-lined channel was determined to be the least impactful, and was permitted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, and the Virginia Marine Resources Commission.

Work activities will be ongoing in the Colvin Run area while crews continue the Difficult Run bridge reconstruction, build a retaining wall, and widen eastbound Route 7.
In Case You Missed It
Construction activities along Route 7 will be ongoing through the spring months, and additional traffic changes will occur. Please see the project website for information on upcoming lane shifts and other roadway impacts.

As a reminder, please refrain from walking through work areas with equipment, materials and ongoing construction activities. If you have questions regarding work areas, please contact us at or 833-777-7411.

Click here for the latest updates on the Washington Gas work that is ongoing along Route 7. For more information on the Washington Gas work, please contact Jeff Hicks,
Thanks for Giving Our Crews S P A C E

Our crews are continuing to practice social distancing. If you have questions or concerns about the construction, please give them the space they need to work, and call or email us instead of approaching the work site.


Need to Know More?
You can check out photos and project progress on our website at Click News & Updates.

Planned lane closures for the following week are posted each Friday.
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Don't forget you can get the latest on work zones, accidents and other incidents by visiting, using the Virginia 511 app, or by calling 511 from any phone in Virginia. Visit the site or app to create and configure your account for alerts.

You can also check out updates for major incidents @511northernvirginia on Twitter.
Call: 833-777-7411