Transportation projects are focus of State of the Town

By Ryan Cornell

FRONT ROYAL — As Front Royal continues to grow and expand, projects are underway to make it a more bike-friendly community.

New roads such as the Leach Run Parkway will include bike lanes, improvement projects to roads such as Happy Creek Road will add bike lanes, and all trails can be used by both pedestrians and cyclists, town Manager Steve Burke told members of the Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce during a State of the Town address at Holiday Inn in Front Royal on Wednesday.

“Not all existing roads will add them [bike lanes], but all new roads will,” he said.

He said the town’s proximity to Skyline Drive makes it a popular destination for cyclists.

The future of Front Royal is not only dependent on cars, he said, but on multimodal transportation including pedestrians and cyclists.

Burke outlined a list of the town’s past, current and future projects during the presentation.

He spoke about the Envision Front Royal website and workshops that aim to develop a vision for the town.

“We want this to be a vibrant town, a popular destination and a lifelong community while preserving our assets,” he said.

Front Royal, which celebrated its 225th year last fall, has grown recently by about 1.1 square miles after annexing 700 acres from Warren County into town limits through the Front Royal Limited Partnership and Leach Run Parkway project.

The partnership land includes 60 acres of future residential and commercial properties while the parkway land will be used for the future middle school.

Burke said much of their current projects are focused on repairing the town’s sidewalks and roads, and improving “multimodal access throughout town.”

Pedestrian signals have already been installed at three intersections in Front Royal and will be added to two more sites.

He said work is currently being done on the Happy Creek Trail, which runs from South Street to Criser Road.

Burke said the Leach Run Parkway will be a four-lane road with bike and pedestrian accessibility. He said the design is currently being finished and he hopes to have the bids out in June.

Burke also spoke about replacing several water lines in town. He said the town experienced 30 water breaks this past winter due to the cold temperatures, which is slightly more than the winter average of 20 to 25 water breaks.

Guests attending the luncheon included Mayor Timothy Darr, Councilman Hollis Tharpe, EDA Executive Director Jennifer McDonald, Chamber Chairman Jim Eastham and Warren County Administrator Doug Stanley.

The presentation was the second luncheon highlighting the progress of the community, following a State of the County address delivered by Stanley in March.

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