Big news tonight for drivers who commute along Route 7 between Sterling, Ashburn and Leesburg. The one remaining traffic light on a long stretch of roadway should be gone by next year. That’s up to a year and a half faster than expected.

Thanks to overpass projects at Loudoun County Parkway, Ashburn Village Boulevard and Belmont Ridge Road, the drive along this stretch of road has gotten infinitely better. But the stop-and-go lights at Lexington Drive and Route 7 in Ashburn remain — bringing traffic to a painful halt. The plan has always been to get rid of that traffic light too and close that intersection, but it was dependent on the extension of Riverside Parkway, which is nowhere close to being done.

In this image from the upcoming Riverside Square shopping center, you can see the western stretch of Riverside Parkway that is close to completion. The eastern section, which will connect to Loudoun County Parkway near the Chick-Fil-A and DC Prime steakhouse, is still wrapping up the planning stages. Construction has yet to begin.

Now tonight, Supervisor Ron Meyer announced that his office has worked with county staff to develop a way to accelerate the removal of the Lexington Drive signal by anywhere from 12 to 18 months faster than originally planned.

“The signal will be removed next year, and it will be a massive relief to commuters on Route 7,” Meyer said in a statement. “With this signal gone, there will be no traffic signals from Dulles Town Center all the way to Battlefield Parkway in Leesburg. This allows for more drivers to use Route 7 to bypass the Dulles Greenway’s $6 toll.”

Images: Google Maps

More details should be out soon about the accelerated timeline. The Burn checked and, while there is not a definite date for the removal of the Lexington Drive traffic lights, it sounds like the county is targeting the first half of 2019.