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Dahlgren Road intersection project gets $4.2 million in funding

A project for Dahlgren Road (Route 206) improvements at its intersection with Owens Drive (Route 624) and Windsor Drive (Route 218) has been approved for $4.2 million in funding. The project is slated to be advertised for construction later this fall.
That was announced in last week’s press release issued by the Commonwealth Transportation Board on behalf of the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).

The Dahlgren Road/Owens project has been previously funded through the engineering and acquisition phases, with properties currently being acquired from some residents and businesses, to widen the roads at the intersection to provide turn lanes at the intersections, along with provision of additional width for utility easements.

The press release that includes the news of the funding for the project in King George is contained in the meeting packet for this week’s meeting of the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, May 21 (following our press time).

Supervisors will this week have an opportunity to again discuss the controversial project with VDOT’s Northern Neck Residency administrator David Brown, if they desire, as he will be at the meeting for a public hearing on secondary road improvements.

DESIGN
The basic thrust of the design for the improvements is to add left turn lanes on Dahlgren Road for vehicles to stack up while waiting to turn onto either Owens Road or Windsor Drive, thereby keeping through-traffic moving.

The Board of Supervisors has repeatedly asked for a traffic light at the intersection, but VDOT has indicated time and again that traffic studies do not warrant a light at that location.

That issue was again addressed late last year. A letter from VDOT’s Fredericksburg District Admin-istrator Quintin Elliott last December provided a written follow-up to some promises he made to supervisors at a meeting the previous month in November 2012.

The overall length of the widening project was reduced, and it was decided to provide the engineering and installation of the foundations and associated equipment for a future traffic signal.

That future traffic light would be installed when the required warrant criteria are met.

The December 2012 letter also noted that a traffic signal study would be performed following notification that construction funds have been obtained, and prior to the project being submitted for construction.

Additionally, it said that if a traffic signal is not warranted before construction begins, then another study would be performed one year after the project has been completed.  

HEARING ON SIX-YEAR PLAN
The funding for the two-lane primary road in King George is part of $448 million in transportation projects slated to be funded in VDOT’s 14-county Fredericksburg District over the next six years, as included in the working draft of the state’s Six-Year Improvement Program for 2014-19.

The Fredericksburg District includes the localities around Fredericksburg, extending east along the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula.

Public hearings on the draft plan are being held across the state this month and in June, with one in the Fredericksburg District planned for next week on Tuesday, May 28, in Richmond. The plan is expected to be adopted with the new program to go into effect on July 1.

Phyllis Cook

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