County seeks state funding for road improvements

FRONT ROYAL – Warren County hopes to receive state money for a series of area road improvements.

County Administrator Doug Stanley said the county recently submitted an application to the Virginia Department of Transportation for Smart Scale funding.

The Smart Scale program allows localities to submit applications for improvements to the Virginia Department of Transportation that are scored based on a set list of criteria in determining which requests are approved.

The county’s application seeks improvements to John Marshall Highway, an Interstate 66 ramp, Winchester Road and Rockland Road.

The John Marshall Highway project would implement safety improvements along the three-mile portion of the roadway that stretches from Front Royal to Linden. Upgrades would include new rumble strips, guardrail improvements and roadside lighting.

The Interstate 66 project would extend the ramp off Exit Six to the Crooked Run Boulevard intersection. Stanley said this would improve capacity and ease safety issues that result from overcrowding.

The Winchester Road project would install roadside lighting along the 1.6-mile corridor from Front Royal’s corporate limits to the intersection with Diamond Ridge Drive. Stanley noted that this would improve nighttime visibility and solve other safety issues.

The Rockland Road project calls for the elimination of Norfolk Southern’s train track on Rockland Road and the construction of a bridge overpass.

Stanley noted that this project would address the numerous delays caused by train blockages, which have affected school bus routes for nearly an hour. He added that it would also increase public safety as Warren County Fire and Rescue would have better accessibility to certain areas. 

The Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission also submitted two projects for consideration, including the expansion of the Linden Park-n-Ride and improvements to the intersection of John Marshall Highway and Apple Mountain Road. 

Stanley noted in an email that the deadline for the application is today and VDOT will not score the projects until later this year.