STAFF PERSON: JUANDIEGO WADE, DAVID BENISH
COMMISSION WORK SESSION: DECEMBER 4, 2007
BOARD WORK SESSION: JANUARY 9, 2008
SIX YEAR SECONDARY ROAD PLAN FOR 2008-2014
UPDATE: This report has been updated to include comments on the Main Street (Crozet) project and the intersection improvement projects at Route 29/Hydraulic Road and Route 29/Greenbrier Drive (page 3), which were omitted from the version reviewed by the Commission.
The purpose of this report is to provide:
§ Initial overview of the Six Year Road Plan process;
§ General review of the existing projects on the County’s priority list of road improvements and potential projects to be considered for inclusion in this year’s revision of the list; and
§ Opportunity to identify/discuss other potential projects/issues not on the Priority List.
Attached is the Draft Albemarle County Priority List for Secondary Road Improvements. The Draft is based on the last year’s approved Priority List with recommended revisions noted in bold or strike-through type. Other data contained in the list (cost estimates, traffic counts, etc.) have been updated based on the most recent available information.
SIX YEAR PLANNING PROCESS
The Six Year Secondary Road Construction Plan is VDOT’s Plan for the allocation of road construction funds for improvements to Secondary Roads (Route 600 and above) for a six year period. It consists of a priority list of projects and a financial implementation plan. The Plan is based on local priorities adopted by the Board of Supervisors. The County typically reviews this priority list of projects every year. Please find attached the draft revisions to the Priority List for 2008.
Since 1986, the Board of Supervisors has approved a priority list of road improvement projects that would cost, in total, in excess of available funds over the six-year planning period. With such a list developed, subsequent VDOT Six Year Plans can be prepared and revised in response to available annual funds. The County has used a locally derived criteria-based rating system to prioritize road improvement projects in the County. This system, with some modifications and refinements, has been used since 1988 with modifications made in 2004.
NEW PROJECTS/PUBLIC REQUESTS
Staff received several requests from the public and the School Department to be considered for inclusion on the Priority List. These projects include:
Public Paving Requests-
School Department Paving Request
Staff has requested that VDOT undertake maintenance improvements on the roads requested for improvements by the Public School Department since it could be many years before paving could take place.
The public and school requests have been added to the Draft County’s Six Year Road Priority List based on the criteria approved by the Board of Supervisors. New requests typically are ranked low on the Priority List due to the number of projects that are currently in the six year funding cycle. None of these projects made it to the list of top strategic priorities. These projects will be evaluated for eligibility for the Rural Rustic Road (RRR) Paving Program. Due to the lower cost and lower level of improvements required for RRR projects, these projects may be constructed sooner if they are eligible for the program.
CHANGES TO PRIORITY LIST
The Meadow Creek Parkway, Jarman’s Gap Road and Georgetown Road remain the County’s highest priorities, so there is no change to there priority ranking. Staff is recommending several changes to the Strategic Priorities (top 23 projects).
Route 651, Free State Road Bridge: This project has been removed from the priority list due the construction of the entrance road for the Belvedere development (previously Priority #5). This road will provide access to the residents of Free State Road, eliminating the need to upgrade the road for vehicle travel. The ultimate future use of the Free State Road Bridge may be for pedestrian/bicycle use, only. However, the road/bridge is not schedule to be closed to vehicular traffic at this time.
Southern Parkway: This project remains a high priority, and is recommended to be moved ahead of the Old Ivy Road Improvement Project (moving up from priority # 9 last year to priority #7 in this proposed priority list). In the past, this project has not been eligible for VDOT secondary road construction funds. It has only eligible for VDOT Revenue Sharing Program funds, which require a minimum 50 percent match in local funds. VDOT Residency staff has recently indicated to the County that this road project will be eligible for full secondary funding. Staff is still waiting for written confirmation from VDOT Central Office. Without full funding, the County would be responsible for at least half of the funding for the road.
Route 781, Sunset Avenue: Staff has added the Fontaine/Sunset Ave Connector Road to the Strategic Priority List as priority #7. The existing section of Sunset Avenue has been on the County’s priority list for many years for upgrading/spot improvements. Staff is recommending that the Connector Road, a recommendation of the Southern Urban Area B Study and the Comprehensive Plan, be included as part of this project. This project is considered a relatively high priority project which will provide and essential new access alternative from the southern Development Areas to the City and University.
There has been a recent discussion at the Planning and Coordination Council (PACC) Technical Committee of studying the concept of constructing a new interchange at I-64 and Sunset Avenue. This project is viewed as possible alternative to constructing the proposed Fontaine/Sunset Avenue Connector Road. The PACC Tech Committee recommended to the PACC Policy Board that the concept to be studied to determined its feasibility and viability as a possible alternative to the Fontaine/Sunset Connector Road. The PACC Technical Committee’s recommendation will be considered by the PACC Policy Board in near future (the Policy Board’s meeting has not been schedule at this time).
Berkmar Drive Extended Bridge/Road: This project has been elevated in the Strategic Priority List (to priority #8) to replace the Northern Free State Road project (old Meadow Creek Parkway-Phase II). The draft recommendations from the PLACES29 Study are recommending the extension of Berkmar Drive as the preferred parallel road to serve the Route 29 North corridor. The Northern Free State Road is not being recommended for construction within the 20 year timeframe for the Master Plan and is considered a long term, possible project.
Route 601, Old Ivy Road: This project is recommended to be lowered in priority, from priority #7 to priority #11. This drop is reflective of the importance of the Old Ivy Road project relative to other projects in the Development Area. Specifically, the Southern Parkway, Fontaine/Sunset Connector road and improvements, and Berkmar Drive Extension/Bridge projects have all been prioritized ahead of Old Ivy Road improvements.
Bridge Improvements: Staff and VDOT have given bridge improvements more attention this year. VDOT has typically recommended bridge projects to the County that should be included on the Priority List based regular bridge inspections and a sufficiency rating system used to evaluate the overall condition of bridge structures. Staff has worked with VDOT to develop the priority bridge projects which can be found on Page 2 of the Attachment. These projects were in the Board of Supervisors recommended Primary Road Improvement Priorities, which were presented to VDOT on November 1, 2007. The Bridge Improvement Projects have been prioritized as priority #10 (ahead of Old Ivy Road) to reflect its priority as needed safety improvements to maintain the operation of existing roads. The Advance Mills bridge project (the highest priority project on the list) is actively under location and design by study VDOT for a permanent replacement bridge.
Main Street (Crozet): This project (priority #18) has been moved from the Inventory of Potential Projects to a Strategic Priority List. The construction of this road is critical to the transportation network in Crozet. It is anticipated that most of this road will be built in conjunction future development proposals. However, certain sections of the road may need to be developed as a public project.
Intersection Improvements on Route 29 at Hydraulic and Greenbrier Road: These intersection projects (priority # 19 and #20) have been included near the end of in the Strategic Priorities List to reflect the recommendations of the 29H250 Intersection Study. These are considered important improvements to the regional and local road network, and are recommended to be included on this list because Hydraulic Road and Greenbrier Drive are part of the Secondary Road system. However, it is anticipated that improvements to these intersections will be funded with primary system funds.
The changes above represent the major changes to the Priority List. Other informational updates have also been made (revised cost estimates, construction dates, etc.).
The Draft Priority List of Secondary Road Improvements (Attached) is presented for the Commission’s information, review and comment; however, no formal action is necessary. Planning Commission comments will be forwarded to the Board for consideration. The Board will review the draft Priority List in a work session scheduled for the January 9, 2008. A public hearing has been scheduled for February 13, 2008.
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