New Sidewalk Makes Movement Easier for Pedestrians and Bicyclists

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The completion of the $1.35-million Opitz Boulevard Sidewalk Project, between Potomac Community Library and Potomac Center Boulevard at Stonebridge, cleared the way for pedestrians and bicyclists to easily make their way along Opitz Boulevard.

“With today’s ribbon cutting, we are not only celebrating the construction of a key pedestrian facility in the Woodbridge District, but highlighting the innovative, collaborative, multi-modal approach to transportation in Prince William County that this sidewalk project exemplifies,” Woodbridge District Supervisor Margaret Angela Franklin said during a recent ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open the sidewalk that was completed in the fall of 2020. “With this segment completed, we have a safe, continuous pedestrian facility between Route 1, the Potomac Library, Sentara Hospital and Stonebridge allowing thousands of residents to access community service, healthcare, employment and retail by walking,”

The project represented a collaboration between Franklin’s office, the Prince William County Department of Transportation and the Virginia Department of Transportation, which administered federal funding through a grants program. The grant funding accounted for $1 million going toward the project. Local money accounted for the remainder of the funding.

The new section of sidewalk represents the County’s efforts to make getting around easier. “Connectivity in Prince William County is really important and this is just one of the areas that represents connectivity,” said Prince William County Chair At-Large Ann B. Wheeler. “I’m grateful to be in Prince William County to be able to help showcase this, because it really is a wonderful place to live, work and play. I know it’s only 1,300 feet, but 1,300 feet in connection really makes a difference.”

The impetus to build a sidewalk started at residents’ requests. Before the sidewalk was opened, pedestrians had to make their way along Opitz Boulevard using a roadside footpath worn into the grass along the side of the road. “This sidewalk is part of the county’s comprehensive approach to improving mobility, which now more than ever is bringing a greater focus to our pedestrian and bicycle facilities to improve safety and equity within our community.”  Franklin said.

See a video of the ribbon cutting ceremony here.

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