By. Bryan Rothamel, Field Officer
PALMYRA — The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the Virginia Department of Transportation’s six-year-plan for Fluvanna County and was briefed on the Fork Union project during the May 15 meeting.
The rural rustic roads to get paved are Hells Bend Road (Route 606), Stag Road (Route 715), Lantre Road (Route 621), Canal Street (Route 687) and Radicel Circle (Route 687).
Garden Lane (Route 636) qualifies for Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) funds because it has high enough usage and is unpaved. This is different than the rural rustic program that has maximums of road usage to qualify. CTB formula has a minimum to be included and Garden Lane is the only unpaved Fluvanna road to qualify.
The major road projects are widening two county routes, both named North Boston Road (Route 600 and Route 633). North Boston connects the Lake Monticello area to Troy. It is often used by Lake Monticello area traffic to get to Zion Crossroad. This two lane road does not have side white lines and has many pavement patches.
Joe Chesser (Rivanna District) asked for its inclusion during an April VDOT work session. The two projects for the one road were included in previous six-year plans so it could be included in this year’s version without issue. The entire road has a budget of over $3 million to complete. It will require funds in each of the six years to complete the ‘minor widening.’
VDOT also includes in the six-year plan rural additions, countywide engineering and surveying, countywide traffic services and countywide right of way studies for general usage. This helps with speed studies, incidental work that comes up and other issues that arise throughout the budget cycle.
The entire six-year plan has an estimated allocation of $1.2 million from the state government.
Since 2004 the Fork Union community has prepared for a streetscape project. The project is to help improve Route 15 at or near the Route 6 intersection. The project has been slow-moving but county staff hope to submit plans to improve the west side of Route 15 from the Post Office to the second entrance of Fork Union Military Academy soon.
The request for bid will include curb and gutter work, crosswalks, concrete sidewalks with grass utility strip, vehicle entrances, street lights and metering equipment for the business side of Route 15.
Also included in the request will be the first alternate plan to include installation of site furnishings and dry-laid brick pavers in lieu of the grass utility strip. The second alternate is to extend the project from the Post Office to Academy Road (the ‘new’ road around the academy). The third alternate is installing site furnishings and dry-laid brick pavers to that second entrance and the final alternate is street trees installed in the brick paver sections.
The entire project, including all alternates is estimated at $475,300. The early estimates of the construction of just the base bid and first section of brick pavers is $395,900. The project estimates grant money available will be $400,000 for construction costs.
The hope is to get a request for bid out in the next month but the plan has hit snags along the way since 2004. Originally the plan included from the Post Office to the Dollar Store but it was discovered landowners owned from the middle of the road. In order to do such a project, landowners would have to give permanent right of way which not all were willing to do.
Pat Groot, grans administrator for the county, believes as long as the plan moves to bid soon, the county won’t lose any grant money. However, if the plan is delayed longer the transportation enhancement grants have been under heavy scrutiny because many localities have been stretching the project timeframes out.
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