Belmont Ridge Road is already a gauntlet of construction zones, and now a new stretch from Hay Road to Gloucester Parkway is getting widened.

You can hardly drive anywhere on Belmont Ridge Road these days without running into road construction. You have the work around Truro Parish. There’s the work up around Route 7. And now it’s going to get even trickier because widening work is beginning on yet another stretch. However, this project comes with a nice bonus for Ashburn walkers, runners and bike riders.

Preliminary work has begun on a $61 million project to widen the two-lane stretch that runs from Hay Road north to Gloucester Parkway. This is the stretch that passes the Village Centre at Belmont Greene shopping plaza (with the grocery store space left vacant when Bloom bailed) and crosses the W&OD Trail, which is always awkward for cars and cyclists.

The project will widen the stretch to four lanes (two in each direction) along with turn lanes. There will be 10-foot wide multi-use sidewalks on each side of the road and — best of all — a bridge will be built across the W&OD and a new parking lot will be constructed for folks using the trail. Much safer than the dangerous gravel spots just off the road that exist right now.

According to the VDOT plan, crews will first build two new lanes running from Hay to Gloucester. This work is scheduled to take from now until Winter 2017. Then traffic will be shifted over to the new lanes, while the current lanes are reconstructed and improved. This should last from Winter 2017 to Fall 2018. Finally, in Phase 3, turn lanes, medians and other final details will be completed and the project should wrap up in Winter 2018.

Images: VDOT