COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE
Sunridge Road Improvement Project
Request transfer of $50,000 from the CIP fund balance to cover additional Sunridge Road project costs
Messrs. Tucker, Foley, Davis, Stumbaugh, Muhlberger
July 7, 2004
ACTION: X INFORMATION:
The Sunridge Road (formerly Wakefield Road) public right-of-way was platted as part of the Northfields Subdivision (1960’s) and a portion of the road was constructed approximately 30 years ago. This development predates the County subdivision ordinance (effective 1980), as well as the County’s public street inspection program. The road was never completed and the portion constructed was never taken into state system. The constructed portion of the road currently serves 5 dwellings and one undeveloped lot. The remaining rough graded portion serves 3 undeveloped lots.
In early 1999 residents of Sunridge Road complained to the County and VDOT that the road should be state-maintained and was in severe disrepair. In addition, they cited a specific incident when snow obstructed emergency vehicles from responding to a 911 call from one of the residents. The residents of the street requested that the County and VDOT repair and maintain it as a public street. Since design standards had changed since the street had been platted, both the County and VDOT recognized that improvements would be needed to accept the street into the State system. County and VDOT staff inspected the road (April 1999) seeking to establish the bare minimum improvements necessary. Improvements included the upgrading of an existing 12” culvert to a 15” diameter culvert to meet VDOT’s minimum diameter standard. A pre-bid conference was held in October 1999, but the project stalled when VDOT requirements also necessitated a drainage easement from the proposed upgraded culvert outfall, across private properties, to the Dellwood Drive right-of-way.
In response to the concerns expressed by the residents of Sunridge Road, the Board approved proceeding with the project after drainage easements were acquired, either through voluntary means or through condemnation. Although this project qualified for the VDOT Rural Additions Program, the Board approved the use of $25,000 in General Funds to expedite the process. Rather then pursue condemnation, staff has continued to work with residents to acquire voluntary easements since the Board’s approval in January of 2000.
In early Summer 2003, County staff met with VDOT staff to reaffirm consensus on the minimum improvements. Additional improvements were requested by VDOT, within the constraints of this 30-year old street, most notably:
· Plant removal and replanting for a sight distance easement at the northeast corner of Sunridge & Northfield Roads;
· Four new sections of storm pipe along sections of Sunridge Road;
· Relocation of existing trees at the end of Sunridge Road;
· Costlier road paving requirements.
The original scope of work, valued at approximately $25,000 in 1999, was a bare minimum project that would have required further VDOT effort to truly meet State standards. The above-mentioned changes coupled with the increasing cost of construction have increased the project value estimate to $75,000.
Based on the change in scope and $50,000 increase in cost, the Board will need to determine if it still supports bringing this road up to State standards for acceptance by VDOT. If the Board is still committed to completion of the project, the following options exist for proceeding:
1. Add this project to the Priority List for Secondary Road Improvements and pursue as a rural addition.
2. Pursue the project through the use of a combination of the previously allocated County General Funds and funding from the CIP Fund balance.
3. Pursue a cost sharing arrangement with the affected homeowners.
Option 1(rural addition) would not normally be the mechanism for this project because of developer interests. However, all vacant lots in this subdivision are owned by individuals. If this project were to be added to the Priority List for Secondary Road Improvements to be completed as soon as possible, it may delay other projects currently on the list.
Option 2 (County General Fund / CIP fund balance) would allow the project to proceed as soon as all easements have been recorded. Staff believes it would be advisable to establish a set of criteria for accepting and evaluating future requests of this type.
Option 3 (cost sharing agreement) would recognize this case as a shared responsibility of the County and the homeowners. A negotiation procedure would have to be established. Again, staff believes it would be advisable to establish a set of criteria for accepting and evaluating future requests of this type.
Because of the long delay in this project and the County’s previous commitment to bring the road up to State standards, staff recommends that the Board authorize the use of $50,000 from the CIP Fund balance to cover additional projected construction costs. If this recommendation should be approved, staff will follow up with the appropriate appropriation forms on the consent agenda at the next meeting.
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