WEYERS CAVE, Va. (WHSV) – On Monday at Blue Ridge Community College, VDOT’s Commonwealth Transportation Board held a public hearing for Valley residents to provide their input on proposed future projects.
The proposed projects are in the six-year improvement plan for the Staunton District for the fiscal years 2023-2028.
The floor was then open for public comment on the six-year plan and any other suggestions people want to make to the board about safer travels. The most talked-about project among the public was Route 55 which runs through Strasbourg and Front Royal.
“In the past 57 months we’ve had 75 accidents at the intersection,” one public speaker said.
The safety concern comes as the area is known for rear-end accidents but has also been prone to rollovers and pile-ups as well. Three residents spoke about this project in particular.
“It’s definitely helpful for the CTB to hear from the public and also from local leaders. A lot of times at these public meetings we have a member of the board of supervisors, a county administrator, a town council member, that sort of thing. Sometimes it’s good to hear from folks who have requested this money, ”said Ken Slack, VDOT communications specialist.
The proposed projects include a number of repairs and traffic improvement projects across the Valley.
“A couple of good-sized bridge projects that are included in there are Route 624 in Augusta County and Route 707, two of those are bridge projects in Rockingham and Augusta County so it’s a variety of projects that the CTB will be looking at,” said Slack.
Some noteworthy proposed projects in the plan include a $ 1.3 million extension of University Boulevard in Harrisonburg and a $ 490,000 sidewalk and street enhancement on Country Club Road in Harrisonburg.
Proposed projects in Rockingham County include over $ 84,000 for improvements to Rawley Springs Road, $ 750,000 for a Route 632 turn lane at US 340, and $ 380,000 to go to the next phase of Bridgewater’s Riverwalk project.
“A lot of these are projects that are brought forward at the local level by the cities, towns, and counties that really would benefit from them the most. We have a variety of projects that are in our enhancement program, things like bike and pedestrian improvements, and greenways, ”Slack said.
The board will meet again in June to make a final decision on whether to include the projects in VDOT’s long-term plans. You can find a full list of the proposals here.
VDOT is also nearing completion on repairs to the historic Meems Bottom Covered Bridge in Mount Jackson that has been closed to traffic since it was struck by two vehicles in the fall. VDOT crews have been working with private contractors on the project.
“The groups have made some repairs to the bridge, also we’re doing some refurbishing to the outside of it replacing some of the wooden panels, power washing it, and restaining it. They’re in the final stages of that work so the bridge will be reopening to the public very soon, hopefully within the next few weeks, ”Slack said.
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