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Warren roads to get $2.4M overhaul

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Traffic moves north along Front Royal Pike at its intersection with Reliance Road (Va. 627) in Warren County. VDOT announced plans to realign Va. 658 (Rockland Road) across from Va. 627. Rich Cooley/Daily

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Realignment of Va. 658 at Va. 627 planned; turn lanes, signal to be added

By Linwood Outlaw III -- loutlaw@nvdaily.com

FRONT ROYAL -- Long-anticipated relocation work near Rockland and Reliance roads in Warren County, which is expected to improve traffic flow near Kelley Industrial Park, is among several projects in the Staunton district that have been approved by the Commonwealth Transportation Board.

The transportation board awarded a $2,487,177 contract Dec. 8 to Perry Engineering Company, Inc., of Winchester, to complete work on Va. 658 (Rockland Road), according to a news release from the Virginia Department of Transportation. The intent of the project is to realign Rockland Road across from Reliance Road and install turn lanes and a signal.

A circular cul-de-sac will be built at the end of the existing Va. 658 intersection with U.S. 340-522. The realignment project will improve traffic flow from the Kelley Industrial Park, officials said.

A new intersection will be constructed 690 feet south of the existing Va. 658-U.S. 340/522 intersection. According to a project description provided by VDOT, Va. 658 will have two 12-foot westbound lanes with a 16-foot raised median and a single, 12-foot eastbound lane. The two westbound lanes and grass median will taper to a 4-foot raised grass median, officials said.

A single, 12-foot eastbound lane with a left turn lane will tie Va. 658 to a short connector road, which will consist of two 12-foot travel lanes with 4-foot shoulders and extend to the existing Va. 658 across from the DuPont entrance.

The realignment project is expected to be finished by June 2012. Warren County Administrator Douglas P. Stanley said the long-awaited realignment culminates 12 years worth of work toward getting the project started.

Stanley said the realignment is part of an overall plan to improve safety along the U.S. 340/522 corridor, which has seen significant increases in traffic in recent years due to new developments such as the Riverton Commons shopping center.

"The project would not have moved forward to construction as quickly as it has without the support of VDOT staff at the residency and district level, and the donation of necessary right-of-way for the project by DuPont and the Cedarville Center shopping center," Stanley said in an e-mail on Tuesday. "We are extremely excited to see this project move forward to the construction phase."

Also on Dec. 8, the Commonwealth Transportation Board awarded a $23.8 million contract to Kanawha Stone Co. Inc., of Nitro, W.Va., to replace two bridges crossing over Compton Creek and the Norfolk Southern Railroad, respectively, on U.S. 340 just south of the Page-Warren county line. Both bridges were built in 1936, and officials say new structures are needed to better support modern-day traffic.

Crews will install a new, 150-foot-long bridge over the Norfolk Southern Railroad, and the current Compton Creek bridge will be replaced with a new 573-foot long structure. The bridges will feature wide shoulders for emergency pull-offs in an effort to enhance safety, officials said.

The bridges are expected to be completed in the fall of 2013.

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