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Westmoreland rural additions work set to begin as early as September

The Westmoreland Supervisors met this Monday night with VDOT Northern Neck Residency Administrator David Brown and adopted the set of resolutions that allow the Department to begin work on rural additions as quickly as this fall. The action included a certificate that appropriate rights-of-way have been obtained.

The District 4 projects include a 0.15-mile stretch of Westmoreland Drive in the Westmoreland and Potomac Shores subdivisions that runs from Monticello Drive to Cedar Lane. That cost is $152,000. The same subdivisions’ Piney Forest Drive is to be added to the set of state maintained streets. The 0.25-mile project begins at Wakefield Drive and terminates at

Westmoreland Drive for a cost of $207,000.

The 0.47-mile length of Meadow Avenue in the Town of Colonial Beach from Route 205 to Riverview Drive will cost $154,000. Riverside Meadows’ Santa Maria Avenue will be extended an additional 0.15 miles from Stratford Street to Riverview Drive with a $104,160 bottom line.

Two District 2 rural additions will be added in the Cabin Point subdivision. The 0.08 stretch of Dolphin Court from Royal Way to Beacon Court will cost $41,000 to improve and the section of Mallard Court from Royal Way to a terminus 0.13 miles east of route 1530 will be brought into the system of secondary roads at the cost of $58,970.

One month earlier the Westmoreland Supervisors publicly voiced concerns about local highway maintenance issues and the new wave of communications problems. No VDOT representative attended the Board’s July 11 meeting and County Administrator Norm Risavi was tasked with asking the Department to send someone to answer questions on August 8.
On Monday night Brown advised that he planned to attend the Board’s September meeting and expected to be attend all Board of Supervisors meetings in the Residency’s district on a quarterly basis at the very least.

Individual Board members expressed concerns about the state’s ability to appropriately fund rural secondary roads maintenance requirements. District 2 Supervisor Russ Culver warned Brown that the county’s “rural roads are in a greater condition of disrepair” than any time in recent memory.

“The state doesn’t have the money it needs, but without appropriate maintenance, the concern will become not a maintenance issue but a replacement issue,” the Supervisor remarked.

“Something needs to be done or it’s really going to hurt the rural counties in the future,” said Culver of the unmet rural funding needs. Discussion shifted to creation of additional passing lanes on Route 3 west of Montross. Brown, who began his duties on the Northern Neck earlier this year, was advised of a prior initiative that resulted in creation of two pull-over lanes along that stretch.

Board Chairman Woody Hynson explained that set of improvements, noting that “the pull-over lanes have saved a lot of lives.

“Traffic on that part of Route 3 is always heaviest on Friday and Sunday evenings,” Hynson commented. “The pull-over lanes deliver the convenience of getting around slow moving vehicles and also give tired drivers the option of switching seats. There have even been times when I’ve seen people using the pull-over lanes for a tire change on campers and boats.”
Brown noted that the Department has acquired additional right-of-way for that purpose.

“But,” he added, “those projects have been set aside. We hope to create some third lanes that can be used for passing” on that part of Route 3.”

Betsy Ficklin

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