New stoplight in VDOT road plan
by Tom Chillemi
|Widening Stamper’s Bay Road at Hartfield is high on the VDOT project list.|
VDOT allocated $950,000 for a traffic signal and intersection improvements on Route 33 at Route 620, which leads to St. Clare Walker Middle School and Middlesex Elementary School, said Marcie Parker, resident engineer for VDOT’s Saluda Office.
VDOT will extend the eastbound Route 33 right turn lane onto Route 620 and widen the median “noses” to make it easier for the school buses to turn.
Road construction is scheduled for June to August 2009, Parker said.
The signal will be installed between September and December 2009.
The traffic signal, which is being installed primarily to aid buses and school traffic during opening and closing of school, “will have to operate all the time,” said Parker.
Crossing guards have been used several years at the intersection.
The signal will cost about $250,000, and the road construction is estimated at $400,000, with the design and right-of-way costing $300,000. The intersection is funded and should be advertised in December, said Parker.
VDOT’s budget for 2008-09 is $3.7 billion. By law maintenance has to be funded first, said Parker. Maintenance for Middlesex County is budgeted at $1 million for 2008-09.
The construction allocation for Middlesex is $426,600 for 2008-09. Of that, $11,300 is for unpaved roads.
Parker said this week that state budget cuts could delay some construction. “We do not know the full extent of the cuts in the construction projects that will be necessary,” she said. “But there will be cuts and delays in most projects.”
Stamper’s Bay Road
A secondary road project, planned by VDOT and the Middlesex Board of Supervisors, is to widen Stampers’ Bay Road (Route 630) at Hartfield. Route 630 also is known as “the short cut” to Deltaville for those coming from Mathews on Route 3.
The widening has been on the six-year plan for a while, but with VDOT’s construction budget reductions, it has been delayed.
Stamper’s Bay is scheduled for bid advertisement in September 2009, but may be delayed if funding is reduced, said Parker. “We will not know for another 60 days [if funding will be reduced].”
Currently, construction is scheduled to begin in late 2009.
Regarding improvements to Stormont Road (Route 629) at Healy’s Mill Pond near Hartfield, Parker said construction has not been scheduled.
In February, 2006 a drainage culvert for the dam failed a VDOT inspection and that section of the road has been closed ever since.
A bridge to cross the stream has been in the county’s six-year plan even before repeated flooding damaged the dam and road bed in places, said Parker. The dam is privately owned.
The bridge project is currently estimated to cost in excess of $5 million, said Parker. “By the time the county, getting only a little over $400,000 a year, accumulates enough money for that bridge, you are looking at 15 years out easy before we get the money to do that project.”
The bridge is scheduled to be designed in 2011, and the advertisement for bids is set for September 2016.
Another primary project in the planning stages is for a bicycle pedestrian path on Route 33 in Deltaville from Timberneck Road to the last marina on Route 33.
Statewide planning requires VDOT to consider bike and pedestrian use for any construction project.
The estimated cost is over $5 million, but the bike-pedestrian path is not funded this year. The earliest anticipated advertisement for construction bids is 2011, said Parker. However, if it’s not funded, construction would be delayed. Funding comes from primary and secondary budgets.
A major overhaul of the Route 3 Piankatank River Bridge (Twigg Bridge) between Mathews and Middlesex is being designed, said Parker. The plans call for removing the super-structure and making it 2 feet wider on each side in order to get federal funds. No construction time frame has been set, but Parker said the project could possibly start by 2013. “Believe it or not, it’s not the worst bridge deck in the district,” she said.