Lee Chapel Road nears beginning of $9M improvement plan, funded after tragedy

September 14, 2023

DC News Now

By Max Marcilla

FAIRFAX STATION, Va. (DC News Now) — Wednesday marked a major development in the effort to make a Fairfax County road safer several months after two teens were killed in a car wreck that devastated a community.

At a virtual town hall hosted by Supervisor Pat Herrity, Sen. George Barker said the state is pitching in $4 million toward a project to remove the two hills on Lee Chapel Road. It comes after Fairfax County allocated $5 million toward the project, essentially funding the plan.

Herrity said the plan could take years before it’s completed, and the Virginia Department of Transportation highlighted changes already made since the January crash — including new signage — and changes anticipated in the coming weeks — including reflective pavement markers.

Bahman Haftsavar, the father of 16-year-old Ariana Haftsavar who was in the backseat of the car traveling over 100 miles-per-hour and passed away in the crash, said the plan is good, but it’s hard for him considering it’s happening when it is.

“I hope she’s the last one to get hurt,” he said. “They had to do something. I’m sure she is happy no one else is [going to] go through what we are going through. And it is so hard. No one can understand what we are going through.”

The next step toward the project is the design stage, followed by public hearings. Then, the elected officials will have to decide whether to make the changes while the road remains open, which would slow down completion, or to shut the road down completely, which would accelerate the timeline, but could impede traffic.

Haftsavar said he wants the road renamed to honor his daughter.

“She was everything to us,” he said.