Phase 2 Completed . . . Almost!
Remaining issues being finished
After 5 years of negotiations and work, Phase 2 of the Georgetown Pike Trail: Utterback Store Road to Falls Chase Court, is completed, but has not officially been handed over to GFTB. The contractors are working on some additional storm water management issues before they declare completion. The trail is safe for use, but please be aware of contractors working in the area.
When Trail Blazers began, the community gave it a mandate to implement the Fairfax County Trail Plan in Great Falls using stone dust as the surface. As our area grows and changes, more residents are seeking trails for recreation and commuting and have expressed a desire for asphalt. GFTB spent several years working with Fairfax County to find an alternative to stone dust and asphalt. Phase 2 is a pilot project designed to test an innovative trail surface material: GeoWeb gravel pavers. Gravel pavers stabilize the trail subsurface resisting erosion while creating an appealing pathway for pedestrians, joggers, bicyclists, and equestrians and also being ADA compliant.
The segment between Utterback Store and Falls Chase poses some significant terrain issues. Trail Blazers will be analyzing the successes and failures of this product and how it or a similar product can be used on future segments.
Another point of negotiation was the number and design of federally mandated handrails. Our trail projects are designed with a variety of users in mind, including our neighbors with disabilities. Compliance with ADA standards, which includes handrails, is not just required of any public facility project, but is a priority Trail Blazers wants to uphold. Our negotiations about Phase 2 made sure that only necessary handrails were installed and had a fence-like style that enhances the rural and historic aesthetic of the Pike.
Connecting Our Community
Trail Blazers is now looking ahead to completing the Pike Trail to Seneca Road. All the funding and easements for this section are in place. When completed, this trail will provide direct pedestrian and bicycle access to the Route 7 Trail, Fairfax County Trail, W&OD Trail, Cross-County Trail, and the Reston trail system.
We will also be working on extending the trail north along Seneca and east toward the Village, connecting neighborhoods with 2 elementary schools, the Village Center, and several parks. We welcome any volunteers interested in helping with this effort.
GFTB greatly appreciates all of the comments, questions, and concerns voiced to us over the course of this project. We encourage all residents to communicate their ideas and concerns to us at GreatFallsTrailBlazers@gmail.com.
Making Great Falls more accessible to pedestrians, bicyclists, and equestrians is one of the top priorities of the Great Falls community. We encourage everyone to become more involved in Connecting our Community by joining this worthwhile community-wide effort.