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Warren County roads plan gets OK

By Alex Bridges

FRONT ROYAL -- Warren County leaders heard about more road problems as they approved a list of priority needs this week.

The Board of Supervisors held a public hearing on the county's Secondary Six-Year Plan for fiscal 2015-20 and the secondary system construction budget. The plan prioritizes the county's needs for roads in the Virginia Department of Transportation's secondary system. The board adopted the plans after the hearing.

Ashby Lane resident Doug Rosen spoke in favor of paving a one--mile section of Ashby Station Road in concordance with VDOT's Rural Rustic Road program. Rosen said the VDOT program provides an opportunity to pave the century-old gravel road. Paving the section would eliminate muddy and unsafe conditions, dust and recurring potholes. Likewise, this would cut down on the constant calls made to VDOT to repair the road, Rosen said. Discussions about the need to pave Ashby Station Lane began almost 30 years ago.

"In my opinion, it is good planning to bring this road to the same status - paved - as the other roads in the Rockland area," Rosen read from a statement, adding that his street was paved and brought into the state system in 2012. "The paving will enhance private citizens, visitors and the agriculture community's use of the road."

Rosen also serves as chairman of the Warren County Planning Commission and represents the Shenandoah District.

Jim McManaway, president of the Blue Mountain Property Owners Association, spoke about paving 2.2 miles of Blue Mountain Road to the state's rural-rustic standards. McManaway said the road was on the plan when he served on the Board of Supervisors until the late 1990s. The Blue Mountain subdivision, with its 300 homes, lies adjacent to the much larger Shenandoah Farms neighborhood and sanitary district. McManaway added that Shenandoah Farms residents also use Blue Mountain Road.

Bentonville resident Michael Sirbaugh requested that VDOT consider providing a regular maintenance schedule for the gravelly William Vincent Road. Sirbaugh noted that he did know the road condition before he moved to the area.

"I'm not an engineer but I know a pothole when I see it and boy are we getting more and more," Sirbaugh said. "They're breeding like bunnies down there."

Russell Way resident Wells R. Bill showed the board photographs he took of Rocky Lane after last week's storm. Images depicted the effect of the stormwater that washed out part of the rural road. Bill said the wash-out left a hole 3-feet deep, 5-feet wide. Bill told the board that no signs alert drivers that the road may be washed out. He suggested VDOT post signs similar to those at low-water bridges. Bill noted that a culvert pipe is not sufficient to handle stormwater flows and has not been fixed.

Bill said that Rocky Lane has become so narrow, with limited space between deep ditches that two vehicles cannot fit on the road and drivers can't just move over to let oncoming traffic go by.

Edwin Carter, assistant residency administrator for VDOT's Edinburg office, gave a presentation to the board before the public hearing. Carter explained that the state has less money for a greater number of roads in need of paving as listed in six-year secondary plans.

In Warren County's case, all roads on the list as prioritized by the Board of Supervisors have some funds allocated to the improvements but no project is completely funded.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com

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