County leaders to celebrate completion of Mount Vernon Memorial Highway Trail
On Friday, May 12, Fairfax County officials will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newly completed Mount Vernon Memorial Highway Trail, which provides pedestrians and cyclists with a continuous path between Southwood Drive and Richmond Highway.
Construction along the trail, which kicked off in January 2022, involved completing missing trail segments, building a new pedestrian bridge over Dogue Creek, improving pedestrian crossings, installing ADA curb ramps and making bus stop improvements.
Community members who attend the 10 a.m. ribbon cutting at George Washington’s Distillery and Gristmill will have the opportunity to take part in a commemorative bike ride to Grist Mill Park and back.
Earlier this year at the Mount Vernon Town Meeting, Mount Vernon District Supervisor Dan Storck explained how one of his visions has been to establish a Mount Vernon Cultural Corridor to draw more visitors to the area and connect the Mount Vernon Estate with Woodlawn, the National Museum of the U.S. Army and other historic sites.
“Part of this vision is connecting our missing trail segments,” said Storck. “This $10 million investment will be an improvement long sought by me and many of our walkers, runners and bikers.”
Besides adding new trail segments west of Southwood Drive, contractors repaired some existing trail segments east of Southwood toward Mount Vernon Estate. A small gap in the trail appears to exist between Cherrytree Drive and Old Mill Road near Washington Farm United Methodist Church; however, that section of the highway was not officially part of the trail construction project.
One of the new pedestrian/cyclist safety features impacting motorists is the Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon on Mount Vernon Memorial Highway at Southwood Drive. Signs have been installed alerting drivers about the impending pedestrian/bicycle crossing; however, On the MoVe recently witnessed several vehicles failing to slow down or stop when the beacon began flashing as cyclists prepared to enter the road.
More photos taken from a recent bike ride along the new trail are included in the image gallery below.