Public hearing set for road improvements

By Ryan Cornell

The Virginia Department of Transportation is working on improving Route 11 and Route 661 in Frederick County and wants people to offer feedback at a public hearing this month.

The hearing will be held at James Wood High School, 161 Apple Pie Ridge, Winchester, from 4 to 7 p.m. Nov. 20.

Sandy Myers, communications manager for the VDOT Staunton District, said project displays will be set up throughout the room in lieu of a formal presentation. She said people can ask questions to the staff on a one-on-one basis and supply comments to a court reporter or fill out comment sheets.

“When we go to public hearing, the plans are not fully developed yet,” she said. “It gives public insight on the project. If they know something we don’t know, they can give us feedback at that time.”

Route 11 (Martinsburg Pike) is a divided roadway with two lanes in the southbound direction. Route 661 (Well Town Road) has two lanes with a dedicated right-turn lane and a dual lane for through and left turns at its intersection with Route 11.

The project calls for adding a southbound through-lane on Route 11 between Interstate 81 and the Route 37 bypass, which would provide a dedicated lane for Route 11 and Route 37 traffic and a center lane having the option of taking either route.

The project would also add a dedicated left-turn lane from southbound Route 661 onto northbound Route 11, which would increase the capacity of the intersection to accommodate left-turn lanes.

Currently in the “in design” stage, the project is estimated to cost $3,346,924 for the Route 11 project, a revenue-sharing project with Frederick County, and $1,035,029 for the Route 661 project.

After the design is finalized, the property is purchased and right-of-way activities are completed, Myers said the department will solicit bids for construction work starting in early 2015. She said traffic could be reduced to one lane during construction, though no detours will be required for the project.

“It’s really a minimal impact for folks in that area,” she said.

Written comments can be submitted within 10 days of the hearing date to Project Manager Heather Williams, 811 Commerce Road, Staunton, Va.

In case of inclement weather, the hearing will be rescheduled from 4 to 7 p.m. Nov. 21 at the same location.

Contact staff writer Ryan Cornell at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rcornell@nvdaily.com