COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

 

AGENDA TITLE:

Downtown Crozet Streetscape Enhancement Project, TEA-21  Transportation Enhancement Program Grant  

 

SUBJECT/PROPOSAL/REQUEST:

Public hearing and adoption of resolution endorsing The Downtown Crozet Streetscape Project for a TEA 21 Transportation Enhancement Grant application.

 

STAFF CONTACT(S):

Tucker, Foley, Graham, Cilimberg, Benish, Wade

 

LEGAL REVIEW:   Yes

 

AGENDA DATE:

October 6, 2004

 

ACTION:      X                          INFORMATION: 

 

CONSENT AGENDA:

  ACTION:                                 INFORMATION: 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:         Yes

 

 

REVIEWED BY:

 

 

 

BACKGROUND:

Congress created the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) in 1991 to address growing concerns about air quality, open space, and traffic congestion. One of several programs in ISTEA (now referred to as “TEA-21”) dealt with Transportation Enhancements. This program is the first Federal initiative to focus on enhancing the travel experience and fostering the quality of life in American communities.

The Transportation Enhancement Program fosters more choices for travel by providing funding for sidewalks, bike lanes, and the conversion of abandoned railroad corridors into trails. Communities may also use the program to revitalize local and regional economies by restoring eligible historic buildings, renovating streetscapes, or providing transportation museums and visitor centers. Many communities also use the program to acquire, restore and preserve scenic or historic sites.

The County received a $150,000 TEA-21 Enhancement grant in July 2004 for Phase I of a three phase program for sidewalk/streetscape improvements in Crozet. Phase I is in the area around the railroad bridge and Crozet Ave/Three Notched Road intersection that the community identified as one of the areas most in need of improvements. Phase I includes construction of sidewalks from the south side of the railroad underpass, past the library and crossing Three Notch’d Road to connect to an existing sidewalk near the shopping center.  It also includes streetscaping and crosswalk improvements.

   

Staff is now preparing a grant proposal for Phase II of the improvements.   Staff anticipates requesting $150,000 in grant funds in this phase, as well as in Phase III.  As part of the grant application process for Phase II, the County is required to hold a public hearing and adopt a resolution committing to pay the minimum twenty (20) percent of the total project cost. Grant requests are due to VDOT by November 1, 2004.

 

 

STRATEGIC PLAN:

3.1 Make the County a Safe and Healthy Community in which citizens feel secure to live, work and play.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

The proposed Phase II grant proposal area encompasses both sides of Crozet Avenue between Tabor Street and the Blue Goose building. Staff is proposing the following improvements in Phase II:

 

·         Demolish existing deteriorated curbs and sidewalks and demolish existing retaining walls and other roadside elements in front of the residences as necessary for construction.

·         Construct new concrete curb and gutter, and 5’ wide sidewalks along both sides of the street.

·         Construct new gateway pedestrian plaza at the Tabor Street intersection with brick pavers, low seating walls, benches, lights, and gateway landscaping.

·         Construct two small, pedestrian plazas at the Blue Goose intersection with brick pavers, low seating walls, benches, lights and gateway landscaping.

·         Install concrete paver crosswalks and concrete handicap ramps at all plaza intersections. Install painted crosswalks at all other intersections.

·         Install street trees with grates and pedestrian scaled lighting in all pedestrian areas.

·         Construct a downtown entrance feature and sign at/near the Crozet Avenue/Tabor Street gateway.

·         Construct new curb inlets, storm water pipes and upgrade the storm water utility system as required.

 

The cost of these improvements is estimated to be about $700,000 and would require a minimum 20 percent County match ($140,000).  Due to the competitiveness of this grant program and the limited funds available to the program, VDOT staff has advised that it will be difficult to award grants requiring a significant level of funding. Grant awards in the $100,000 to $200,000 range will be more competitive, and more likely funded.  Therefore, this year’s grant request for Enhancement Program funds will be $150,000 with the County covering the balance of the total cost. The County has programmed sufficient funds in the Neighborhood Master Plan CIP program to cover this balance. It should be noted that the final design for the improvements of this project, if funded, will need to be coordinated with VDOT’s Jarman’s Gap Road improvement project.  As a result, it is possible that the improvements may be focused more on the east side of Crozet Avenue and include areas farther north than the Blue Goose to avoid future road construction areas. These types of specific project adjustments after the grant award are not uncommon and are an acceptable part of the final design process for the project.

Phase III will encompass sidewalk/streetscape improvements along Crozet Avenue between the Phase I and II improvement areas.

 

 

RECOMMENDATIONS:

After holding the public hearing, staff recommends the Board of Supervisors adopt the attached resolution to apply for the TEA 21 Enhancement Grant for the Downtown Crozet streetscape improvement project.

 

View Attached Resolution

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