The Southern Gateway area is located adjacent to Warrenton Road (US Route 17) between the Falmouth Redevelopment Area and Berea Road. Warrenton Road is a highway of national significance, used by traffic traveling from the Northern and Midwestern States and Canada, to the Southeastern States. It is also a preferred alternative route for vehicles seeking to avoid the Washington, DC Capital Beltway. As traffic on Warrenton Road has continued to grow, so has private investment. Two major initiatives are now underway -- Celebrate Virginia North, a 2400-acre mixed-use development, and Carter's Crossing, a 35-acre retail center.
Currently, since Warrenton Road is not a limited access roadway like an interstate, it also serves adjacent commercial and industrial developments through driveways and side roads. The frequent access to adjoining properties is necessary because each of the parcels house stand-alone commercial uses. Since there are no roads paralleling Warrenton Road, this mixing of local and through-traffic, interrupted by stoplights, adds to the congestion already present as traffic waits to enter southbound Interstate 95.
An incremental approach to redevelopment will allow a measured pace of improvement to the quality of life for the thousands of Stafford County residents in the surrounding area. The redevelopment pattern focuses on compact, mixed-use neighborhoods with access to new civic and cultural uses, shopping, work, and public green space. A grid-based local street system is proposed to serve the neighborhoods, thereby allowing nearby residents to focus away from Warrenton Road. Access would be redesigned to take advantage of the benefits of the local grid network.
August 2013 Update:
- A site plan has been submitted for a small retail center on US-17 near GEICO’s Regional Operations Center.
- Walgreens, Dunkin Donuts, and Wawa also have projects underway in this area and Panera will soon be opening a new location near I-95.
- The Timmons Group has been retained to help with outreach efforts in the Gateway area.
The Virginia Department of Transportation continues to work on the engineering design for improvements to Warrenton Road between McLane Drive and Stafford Lakes Parkway. Click for more information.