Shenandoah County’s Board of Supervisors adopted the Virginia Department of Transportation’s six-year plan for the county's secondary roads on Tuesday afternoon and held a refresher course on the ranking system that the board implemented two years ago to prioritize which unpaved roads would receive hard-surfacing treatments.
Prior to Tuesday’s 4-0 vote (two supervisors were absent) to adopt the plan, the supervisors heard from Ed Carter, residency administrator for VDOT, who provided background on the road ranking system that the county put in place in early 2019. The secondary road plan runs from fiscal year 2022 through 2027.
Over two years ago, Carter explained, VDOT asked Shenandoah County supervisors to come up with a system to determine how best to spend the limited funding available. The resulting ranking system awarded each road a score based on average daily traffic, accident history, whether it’s a school bus route, the number of residences on the road and the level of maintenance that has been required for the road’s upkeep.
In years past, Carter said, county roads were placed on the list in the order that requests for resurfacing were made. Now when a resident requests that a road be paved, that road is also scored based on the criteria and ranked accordingly. This means a newer request could take priority over an older one if the road in question scored higher.
The list could change each year as new requests come before the Board of Supervisors. A road’s score and associated ranking could also changed based on what Carter called “logistical” changes (for example, if more homes are built along a road and/or traffic volume increases). When the ranking system was implemented, it was done so with the understanding that supervisors would revisit the list every two or three years to make any necessary scoring changes, Carter said.
Carter encouraged supervisors to undertake such steps with the current list before it passes its next budget a year from now.
When the ranking system was formed in 2019, 37 roads were included on the list, which hasn’t changed since that time. Carter told supervisors on Tuesday that VDOT was completing work on Flat Rock Road — the seventh-ranked project on the list — and that Supinlick Ridge and St. Davids Church roads were next in the rankings. Work on Supinlick Ridge is scheduled to begin in August.
The six-year plan that supervisors adopted on Tuesday includes total funding in the amount of $4.19 million, $542,471 of which is earmarked for fiscal year 2022.
Also on Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors unanimously passed an ordinance adopting by reference changes to state traffic laws (effective July 1) and ordinances that decrease the flat-rate fee for unmetered customers in the Stoney Creek and Toms Brook-Maurertown sanitary districts.
Chairman Steve Baker and fellow supervisors Karl Roulston, Dennis Morris and Tim Taylor attended Tuesday’s meeting, while supervisor Brad Pollack left the meeting prior to any votes being taken on action items. Supervisor Josh Stephens was absent.