Changes to Route 7 in Loudoun County expected ahead of schedule

ASHBURN, Va. (FOX 5 DC) -- Drivers in Loudoun County may get some relief sooner than expected. The county has had longstanding plans to remove the one remaining stoplight along Route 7 just west of Sterling and officially turn that stretch of road into a limited-access highway.

County officials say they get hundreds of calls and complaints about the light at Lexington Drive as it causes bottlenecking by preventing drivers to maintain their speed.

A nearby business hopes county leaders will reconsider this week when they are expected to vote to remove the intersection months ahead of schedule.

Most drivers will tell you that traveling between Sterling and Leesburg in Loudoun County can be tough, but the final part of the county's plan to speed up traffic by turning the stretch of road into a limited-access highway could happen sooner than expected.

In an effort to keep traffic moving, Loudoun County has already removed side road connections at other intersections along the busy road by transforming them into ramps and interchanges. The last one left is at Lexington Drive where the county says work to remove the stoplight and turn lanes could begin more than six months ahead of schedule.

Frank Maruca has owned Bluemont Nursery that sits at the corner for almost 30 years. He says removing the light, would close the turn lanes into his business for cars and potential customers, forcing them to enter by another new access road called Riverside Parkway, which the county is still building.

"When they build the new road behind us, then they should take the light out. That's what they promised they would do," said Maruca. "For them to say they are a year ahead taking the light out, probably means they are a year from building that road. We are hoping that doesn't harm us enough where it will put us out of business in that year."

He plans to speak at a meeting on Wednesday.

If VDOT does the work, the intersection could be closed as early as this fall.