For some years now, the intersection of Doom - where the Custis Trail meets Lee Highway and North Lynn Street - has been a lot like the weather, everyone talks about it, but no one does anything. But all of that could start to change late next year when the Lynn Street Esplanade and Custis Trail improvements project begins construction.
Back in September, the engineering design was completed and the project is currently in the process of transferring construction work to VDOT.
The newly designed intersection will feature a wider trail, increased trail separation, narrower traffic lanes, curb extensions and wider curb ramps, new traffic signals including bicycle signals and new streetlights.
The trail is currently 10' wide with a 3' buffer, but the new trail will be 16' wide with a 6' buffer.
It's not quite as impressive as the tunnel that was once proposed, but it should make the intersection safer for all.
The plan, which has already been approved by VDOT, proposes removing a lane of Lee Highway along on the section near the Marriott driveway.
In addition the project redesigns the block of N. Lynn Street that is south of the trail. It will create bike waiting areas, a 6' bike lane on the east side that will close a gap between existing bike lanes and the trail, new street lights and some aesthetic and pedestrian improvements.
The highlight of the wider sidewalks and adjacent areas will be four new sculptures on the edges.
This will all take on greater value if the gondola gets built.
The project will be transferred to VDOT for several reasons such as experience, capacity, ownership, overlapping work and risk management. The final designs were to be completed and submitted to VDOT for final approval this year, and gas utility relocation to start this year too. Dominion Power will start work in the area in the spring and construction should start in fall of 2017.