3. Featherbed Lane

Background. During 2016 a traffic and engineering study was conducted for Featherbed Lane roadway improvement options. The Prince William County Department of Transportation (PWCDOT) conducted a Community Work Group Meeting on October 25, 2016 to gather public opinions on the options presented in the roadway study. The meeting included an overview of the study’s findings and results and collection of community input and feedback on potential roadway improvement options. 

Featherbed Lane, an unpaved road with limited two-way traffic, is the sole unimproved roadway remaining within Manassas National Battlefield Park (MNBP) and traverses key terrain of the 2nd Manassas Battlefield. Key preservation concerns include the impact of improvement options under consideration (paving and straightening the roadway) on the historic character of Featherbed Lane within MNBP, leading to increased use by commuters as an alternative to Route 234. 

The National Park Service (NPS) is a primary property owner of Featherbed Lane and land adjacent to Featherbed Lane, with VDOT holding a 30-foot wide prescriptive easement. Additionally the majority of the Property on both sides of the roadway is included in the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Manassas National Battlefield. 

The NPS’s primary concerns focus on preserving the roadway setting, which includes dense tree cover, as well as the safety of the public at the three existing MNBP trail crossings of Featherbed Lane, particularly the crossing at General Trimbles Lane. NPS is open to minor roadway improvements, including minor construction to fix drainage problems, provided the improvements can be completed without significant impacts to existing tree canopy or encroachment beyond the 30-foot prescriptive roadway easement.

Current Status. VDOT has funds and wants to pave Featherbed Lane up to intersection with General Trimbles Lane. Local homeowners initially supported paving contingent on including traffic calming measures – current traffic count/use data does not qualify for traffic calming measures. Homeowners do not support paving without traffic calming measures. NPS/MNBP is ok with paving, but notes that paving will lead to increased traffic and increased vehicular speed - requiring a four way stop (traffic calming measure) at intersection of Featherbed Lane and General Trimbles Lane. NPS/MNBP does not support reducing the embankment at the intersection (a section of unfinished railroad bed [MGRR] along General Trimbles Lane) to enhance sight lines / visibility at intersection.

Project currently on hold (a/o 21 November 2017)

Parties Involved.


Prince William County Department of Transportation (PWCDOT)

Local (Featherbed Lane, General Trimbles Lane) homeowners


Planned Actions/Activities. 

Maintain contact and communications with Brandon Bies, MNBP Superintendent

Monitor developments