linear feet of streetscape improvements
RK&K supported the City of Falls Church, VA with the design and construction of an intermodal transit plaza at the intersection of South Washington Street and Hillwood Avenue and multi-modal transportation improvements to South Washington Street. The project creates a gateway into the City core and involved roadway, streetscape, and site improvements, including interpretive signage, bus shelters, landscaping, rain gardens, and architectural lighting.
As the engineer-of-record, RK&K provided multidisciplinary engineering services from planning through construction in collaboration with the City and stakeholders. At the beginning of the project, RK&K performed a feasibility study and a corridor-level operational/capacity analysis and provided planning-level cost estimates to develop project phasing and funding. As design developed, RK&K collaborated extensively with local businesses, residents, and the City on the design and construction phasing. RK&K was supported by trusted subconsultant partners for landscape and irrigation design and surveying.
The project involved the planning, design, and construction of a multi-modal transit plaza located at the South Washington Street/Hillwood Avenue intersection, along with streetscape improvements that extend a total of 1,100 linear feet to the south and east of the intersection. Customized hardscape components included brick sidewalks and crosswalks, plaza areas with granite accent paving and edging, a curvilinear plaza bench, bus shelters, decorative pedestrian lighting, and a complete suite of street furniture.
To celebrate the history and cultural diversity of the City, a central focus of the plaza is an interpretive exhibit featuring eight glass panels that provide a narrative and graphic walk back through time. The panels were fabricated using ceramic frit technology and required significant research and effort to develop technical specifications for construction. To address stormwater management requirements, the design included rain garden bioretention facilities that optimized the plaza aesthetics, balancing and complementing the hardscape features. Plantings included maple trees, grasses, evergreens, and perennials that withstand the harsh urban environment and complement the trees and perennials located in curbside beds situated throughout the project.
The project has transformed the South Washington Street corridor into a safe, beautiful, and inviting public space that enhances the corridor environment for local businesses, calms traffic, increases multimodal transportation usage, improves the quality of life for residents, and supports the ongoing history and cultural diversity of the Falls Church community.