Plan lays out county road, bridge projects

WOODSTOCK – Shenandoah County’s secondary transportation plan covers unpaved roads and a handful of bridge projects.

The Secondary System Improvement Plan proposed for the fiscal years 2017-2022 lists major projects and new, hard-surface roads slated for paving.

Ed Carter, assistant residency administrator for the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Edinburg office, presented the draft of the plan during the Board of Supervisors’ public hearing Tuesday.

Estimated allocations spread out over the six years total $3.88 million, with a $711,411 district grant kicking in for fiscal years 2021 and 2022.

Board Chairman Conrad Helsley remained skeptical.

“When can you find more money?” Helsley asked.

The Commonwealth Transportation Board meets in June to consider the county’s secondary plan, Carter said.

District 3 Supervisor Steve Baker said many of the rural roads he travels show wear and tear, potholes and other problems. He asked if VDOT would take care of these roads on an as-needed basis.

VDOT evaluates rural roads in the county each year and applies money where needed until funds run out, Carter explained, adding that crews repave, patch or treat the road surface depending on the need. VDOT uses an index of the quality of the surface and how the road should feel when traveled, he noted. VDOT then tries first to address roads in an unacceptable condition.

“The problem is our whole infrastructure, nationwide, is crumbling,” Carter said. “There just aren’t enough funds to do it all.”

VDOT crews would try to address potholes or crumbling surfaces immediately, Carter added. Entire sections of roads that require resurfacing would need to wait in line, he said.

Major projects in the plan include:
• Bridge replacement on Artz Road in Woodstock at an estimated cost of $2.99 million using federal bridge replacement funds already awarded with construction set to begin this summer.
• Bridge replacement on Headley Road in Maurertown at an estimated cost of $2.14 million, paid for by federal funds not yet awarded.
• Bridge replacement on Stoney Creek Road west of Edinburg at an estimated cost of $2.18 million and paid for with federal stimulus dollars and forest highway funds construction of which could start this year.
• Bridge replacement on Orchard Road west of Mount Jackson at an estimated cost of $2.69 million using federal money, though the funding remains short by almost $2 million, construction on which could begin in 2018.

The plan still lists completed bridge replacement projects on Water Street in Edinburg and Seven Fountains Road in Fort Valley. The projects have not been closed out, Carter said.

The plan also includes new hard-surface road projects that the state would pay for using unpaved road funds from the Commonwealth Transportation Board. Projects are prioritized in order of when they were requested. Money for projects scheduled in fiscal 2017 will not be awarded until the Commonwealth Transportation Board approves the funding. The following roads are listed as projects slated for paving:
• Dellinger Acres Road in Conicville in fiscal 2017 at an estimated cost of $395,500.
• Ridge Hollow Road in Columbia Furnace in 2018 for $210,000.
• Dodson Road in Conicville in 2019 for $320,000.
• Two sections of Headley Road in Maurertown in 2020 for $330,000 each.
• Ritenour Road in Edinburg, possibly in 2021 for $395,000.
• Two sections of Moreland Gap Road in Mount Jackson, possibly in 2021 and 2020 for $305,000 each.
• Flat Rock Road in Forestville, possibly in 2022 for $488,000.
Lutz Hollow Road in Conicville, possibly in 2022 for $366,000

The plan includes cost estimates for contracted work. VDOT could save money if it has the resources to perform a project using its own crews, Carter said.

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