The City of Manassas and Virginia Department of Transportation officials cut a ceremonial ribbon on the completion of the Route 28 Grade Separation Project, Thursday morning.
All four lanes of traffic over the new Route 28 overpass opened in mid-October and has significantly improved traffic flow, reduced congestion, improved emergency vehicle access and eliminated rail/vehicle interaction on Route 28, Manassas city officials said.
The Route 28 project has been long-term, beginning in 1992 with a request to VDOT from the City of Manassas for a feasibility study to review relocating or upgrading the rail crossing on Route 28.
In 1995, VDOT and the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (VDRPT) conducted a Railroad Realignment Study on the area. Local officials from the City of Manassas, Prince William County and Norfolk Southern served on a steering committee for the project and then-Del. Harry Parrish and Sen. Charles Colgan provided support to the group.
In May of 1999, a Memorandum of Understanding was forged between the Railroad, the Commonwealth and the City of Manassas to create a partnership, which was critical to the development and completion of this project. The project was completed in two phases: Phase I included railroad double tracking south of the City of Manassas (2 miles), crew change building construction at Bristow, and B-Line curve improvements and a Wellington Road detour. These improvements were completed in 2003 at a cost of $15.2 million.
Phase II of the project, which cost $43.9 million, has opened the Route 28 overpass to traffic and is scheduled to be completed in December. As part of the Memorandum of Understanding, the City of Manassas contributed $200,000 in General Funds and $250,000 in Utility Funds to this phase of the project.
This has eliminated all vehicle/railroad conflicts at Route 28, reduced congestion on Wellington Road and Route 28, and provided improved emergency response times to the Airport, Manassas Landing, several large businesses and City residents in the southwestern portion of the city