Route 50 Widening


Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT)


Dewberry Engineers Inc.


Fairfax County and Loudoun County, Virginia




December 2015

Route 50 Widening

In March 2011, Shirley Contracting Company, LLC was awarded the Route
50 Widening Design-Build Project by VDOT. The project included the
reconstruction and widening of Route 50 from four to six lanes for 3.7 miles
from Poland Road (Route 742) to Sully Road (Route 28). The Shirley Team was
responsible for acquisition of right-of-way from 68 parcels including one
relocation; extensive coordination and relocation of facilities owned by 15
different utility companies including, overhead/underground power
(15,000’), overhead/underground communications (50,000’), gas line
relocations (4,000’), sanitary line relocations (1,100’) and waterline relocations
(17,000’); acquisition of environmental permits, improvements to eight signalized
intersections; four new stormwater management facilities; reconstruction of the
existing bridges over Cub Run; a new 10’ shared use path on each side of
Route 50; two retaining walls, two box culverts; roadway construction;
contractor administered quality assurance and quality control; coordination
of public involvement and, coordination of waterline relocations with Fairfax

The Route 50 widening project required the management of several
challenging issues. One of the largest issues was the coordination of utility
relocations and right-of-way acquisition in a linear transportation corridor where
the majority of the widening resulted in direct utility conflicts. The Design-Build
Team overcame this challenge by closely coordinating the Transportation
Management Plan with the right-of-way and utility relocation priorities to
ensure that we provided adequate fl oat to third party controlled utility relocations
without compromising an aggressive schedule. A key element was creating a
sequence that optimized the amount of ultimate roadway that could be
constructed concurrent with the acquisition of right-of-way, permits, and the
relocation of the utilities. The Team accomplished this by reversing VDOT’s
original sequence of construction and utilizing the median. Additionally, we
constructed detours that allowed us to start reconstruction of the existing
pavement within the existing right-of-way. This sequence allowed the right-of-way
acquisition and utility relocation phases of the project to run parallel with the
early phases of construction and decrease the risk of utility delays that would
ultimately impact the final completion date.