Manassas Journal Messenger | Area to get more post offices

Time and development have certainly changed the way mail is delivered in Gainesville.

Cherie Cable, acting superintendent of the Gainesville Post Office and a lifelong Catharpin resident, said mail used to be shipped to this area by train, and postal carriers used horses instead of cars.

Today residential growth has fueled a new type of congestion: Carriers in post office parking lots throughout western Prince William County.

United States Postal Service officials said the growing number of houses, businesses and internet purchases are pressing area post offices to capacity.

“We’re totally packed,” said Cable, who works at the Gainesville Post Office on Lee Highway.

Recently, the postal service lifted a capital spending freeze and is soliciting real estate offers to build more post offices, said John Gordon, real estate project manager for the postal service.

The Manassas Post Office on Sudley Road and the Haymarket, Bristow and Gainesville post offices are all planned for expansion, Gordon said.

The new offices would have to be within the ZIP codes that the offices serve, so finding the right location is key, he said.

“We try to minimize [carrier] travel cost, which is a huge piece of mail operation,” Gordon said.

Cable said in the 12 years since she started working at the office, she’s seen the number of routes grow from five to 15.

Each route serves between 300 and 600 customers, she said. The Gainesville Post Office serves the 20156 and 20155 ZIP codes, which include about 8,500 customers, Cable said.

By 2016, the postal service estimates the number of customers to be 11,936.

“We couldn’t put another route in here if we had to,” Cable added. “But I think we might have to add another one.”

Somerset Crossing, Heritage Hunt and development along Linton Hall Road have caused an explosion in the amount of mail that’s processed there daily.

Large businesses in the area also contribute to that growth, Cable said.

The space carriers use to load up the day’s mail is tight there and at the Bristow Post Office, where Postmaster Torrence D. Parrish said business is very busy.

The postal service is looking for land to either expand the five-year-old Bristow office or build an annex where carriers loading mail would stay separate from customers.

“Hopefully the building we get will be big enough,” said Parrish.

The Bristow Post Office serves the 20136 ZIP code.

Gordon said solicitation of land will begin soon. A notice at the Gainesville Post Office instructed people who are interested in selling the postal service about 4.5 acres can pick up a solicitation package at the facility, located at 14689 Lee Highway.

By March 18 a similar solicitation is expected to be posted in the Manassas Post Office, located at 8801 Sudley Road.

The Manassas Post Office serves the 20109 ZIP code.

The Gainesville and Manassas post offices are expected to see new service centers that are approximately 16,000 square feet, Gordon said.

He added that existing offices would not be closed.


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