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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Entrance for Inova Fairfax Hospital moved to Woodburn Road

There’s a new entrance for Inova Fairfax Hospital on Woodburn Road in Annandale. The former “gray entrance” on Gallows Road is closed to through-traffic and is accessible for emergency vehicles only.

Instead, traffic is being directed to a new main thoroughfare, “Wellness Boulevard,” accessible from Woodburn Road. A traffic light has been installed at the intersection of Woodburn Road and Wellness Boulevard. A traffic attendant will be stationed at the old gray entrance on Gallows, 6 a.m.-9 p.m., to direct drivers to the new entrance on Woodburn. The “blue entrance” on Gallows Road remains open.

The opening of the new 11-story patient tower at Inova Fairfax has been delayed from November to January 2013. The building will have 174 private patient room. According to Inova, the delay “will give hospital staff and physicians additional time to prepare for the adoption of a campus-wide electronic medical record system, EpicCare, which is slated to launch Nov. 9.”

The building is part of a larger, $850 million expansion project, scheduled to be completed in 2016, which includes a 12-story tower for the Women’s Hospital and Children’s Hospital, an eight-story parking garage, and converting all patient rooms to private rooms.


  1. This decision is another classic example of poorly thought out traffic engineering in Northern Virginia.

    Prior to the Beltway widening and Gallows Road bridge reconstruction projects, making a left turn at Woodburn Road had its challenges. After the bridge was widened, the left turn lane was shortened which has resulted in traffic stacking and making it impossible to get through the light in one green cycle.... and this is in non-rush hour times. I have been in a line of six vehicles and not made the light. This turn lane serves Metro buses and vehicles that travel much farther down Woodburn than just the Mental Health facility. All the residential housing off Tobin Road and Woodburn Road toward Little River Turnpike is served by this roadway.

    Now that the entrance to the Hospital has been moved to Woodburn Road, many, many more vehicles will be stacked in the left turn lane in an attempt to travel down Woodburn Road.

    The intersection at Gallows and Woodburn roads is a nightmare, with vehicles turning left off Gallows, merging with vehicles turning right off Gallows, then braking for vehicles stopped in the left-most part of Woodburn in an attempt to access the service road to the Exxon station, 7-11, and the residential area beyond Holly Road. Then there are the vehicles stopped in three lanes at the light on Woodburn going in the opposite direction, where a Don't-Block-The-Box area exists. It is in this area where vehicles are simultaneously attempting to cross in front of the stopped traffic to take a left onto Woodburn …. Some drivers wielding Slurpees and Big Bites; others are talking on their cell phones. There is less than half a block where all these driving maneuvers are taking place. A short half block later, there are vehicles coming and going from the commercial buildings on the south side of Woodburn Road, including Fed Ex and UPS making deliveries, or stopped in one lane to access their drop boxes along the sidewalk.

    So if you actually make it through the first block of Woodburn Road without being hit or hitting another vehicle, your driving skills will be tested yet again …. Another set of stopped vehicles at yet another red light (the new one at Wellness Boulevard). Then one must safely proceed past those drivers very unfamiliar with the area who are stressed out as they rush to the Hospital to visit their loved one, or as they are exiting the Hospital in a state of despair.

    Who knows what piling-on of issues will transpire once the ramp from the HOT lanes are opened at Gallows Road. I think it would only contribute to the problem.

    If you are just someone who does good deeds that benefit the Hospital or going over to Give Blood, this new configuration makes it all the more dangerous to do so. It is quite possible that the only safe way to get to the Hospital will be via ambulance. Be careful out there!


  2. Excellent evaluation of a very expensive mess. And dont forget the "to be built" elder care campus ~ a mile south on Gallows.
    Welcome to the six-lane parking lot and God help anyone in the ambulance tryng to go to the emergency room. I think the only safe way to get to the Hospital will be via Helicopter....