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Upgrades set for two roads in Warren

Improvements to begin in fall on Happy Creek, Indian Hollow projects

By Ben Orcutt -- borcutt@nvdaily.com

FRONT ROYAL -- The Virginia Department of Transportation has announced plans for Happy Creek and Indian Hollow roads in Warren County.

According to the agency's Web site, improvements to Happy Creek Road are slated to begin this fall. Improvements will be made from Sixth Street and Bradford Drive, just short of Shenandoah Shores Road.

Improvements will feature two 12-foot lanes, with curb and gutter, as well as two bicycle lanes, each 4 feet wide. Also planned are turn lanes at Meadow Lane, in addition to new water, sewer and storm drains.

VDOT says the daily traffic count now stands at 5,300 vehicles, with a projection of 12,400 daily vehicle trips by 2028. Primary benefits of the project, VDOT says, are the safety from wider lanes, as well as the relocation of utilities and improved drainage, in addition to the access provided to bicyclists and pedestrians.

While construction is ongoing, both eastbound and westbound traffic will be maintained, as well as access to private entrances, VDOT says.

The town of Front Royal is applying for revenue-sharing funding to help pay for the project, VDOT adds.

Meanwhile, VDOT has scheduled a public hearing Oct. 7 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the South Warren Volunteer Fire Department for a proposed bridge on Indian Hollow Road -- Va. 613 -- to replace the current low-water crossing of the South Fork of the Shenandoah River near Bentonville.

Plans call for the new, 320-foot long, 34-foot-wide bridge to be located about 50 feet upstream from the existing crossing, with two 11-foot lanes, a 5-foot wide sidewalk with curb and gutter on the east side and a 5-foot shoulder on the west side.

The new structure would be about 14 feet higher than the existing bridge, VDOT says.

If approved, an existing bridge over an abandoned channel will be replaced by a box culvert about 20 feet upstream, with 11-foot wide lanes and five-foot shoulders.

A rural area that includes some homes, a campground and a canoe rental business, the proposed project is surrounded by state and federal property, VDOT says.

VDOT says the average number of daily vehicle trips over this portion of Indian Hollow Road is 228, with a projection of 236 daily vehicle trips by 2023. Peak usage is during the warmer months for recreational activities.

The project must be approved by the Commonwealth Transportation Board, which would be followed by obtaining right of way and then advertisement for construction. The project will be funded by federal forest highway funds.

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