New Five-Month Detour Around Closure on W&OD Trail

The Virginia Department of Transportation will implement a major detour on the W&OD Trail at Idylwood Park Starting soon. The detour was scheduled to start July 27, but has been postponed to allow for additional project coordination. VDOT expects an announcement of a new closure date soon. The closure is part of the "Transform 66 Outside the Beltway" project. Most riders will know the closure spot for the climb up Virginia Lane when headed westbound, and the climb up the W&OD to Virginia Lane when riding eastbound. 
VDOT says the closure is necessary for construction of a retaining wall and widening of the ramp from I-66 West to I-495 South. The map shows the area of the closure, and the alternative routes for cyclists and pedestrians.
  • Cyclists will be directed to Virginia Lane and Nottingham Drive to detour around the closed section of trail. This on-road detour uses the W&OD Trail access at the end of Nottingham Drive.
  • Pedestrians will be detoured through Idylwood Park around the closed section of the W&OD Trail using footpaths and the parking lot.
Ed Hazelwood took a look at the detour in advance. Westbound there will be bright orange detour signs when you reach the left turn on Nottingham Drive. However, the street signs are not easy to see. Nottingham Drive is in a very residential neighborhood that is not accustomed to having a lot of cyclists. So be careful here. Watch out for cars that do not expect you. At the end of Nottingham Dr. you come to a connection to the W&OD again. It is a sharp right-hand turn and narrow. Eastbound once you are on Nottingham and then make your right on Virginia Lane the good news is that the slope is not as steep as it is on the W&OD.  There is one potential danger point on this detour and that is the junction of Virginia Lane & Nottingham Drive. Cars traveling south on Virginia Lane are coming downhill (thus picking up speed) and coming into a partially blind turn when they may not see cyclists crossing or entering their lane. Please use extra caution there.
The project and the detour are planned to be finished in December 2020.

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