Glebe Road work No. 1 priority for 6-year road plan, but other projects will get done first because of funding

Making improvements on a vertical curve on a section of Glebe Road in Daleville is proposed as the No. 1 priority in the proposed 2018-23 Secondary Road Improvement Plan (SRIP) that the Board of Supervisors will consider when it meets Tuesday afternoon at Greenfield Education and Training Center.

The Glebe Road work is one of five projects in the SRIP, but despite being the top priority, it’s not the project that will be done next if the plan is approved.

In fact, the No. 2 priority, reconstructing and surface treating McFalls Road in the Blue Ridge area, could go to bid as early as this summer; and Priorities 3, 4 and 5 will be done before the Glebe Road work even starts.

That’s because of the still very modest amount of secondary road money the county receives through Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) funding these days and the Unpaved Roads Construction Program that’s now available.

The Glebe Road work will cover 0.2 mile and is estimated to cost $1.9 million, and is a secondary road project.

The others fall under the Unpaved Roads Construction Program (Rural Rustic Roads) or the Rural Additions Program— both different money— and the Board of Supervisors has opted to allocate some secondary road money for Unpaved Road and Rural Addition projects because of the number unpaved roads still in the county— 115 gravel roads that cover 150 miles.

Under the proposed secondary road program, the Glebe Road project could be advertised for bids in the winter of 2021 with the work done in spring/summer of 2022 if VDOT and the Board of Supervisors follow the recommended funding allocation over the next five fiscal years— and provide for funding the balance of what will still be needed to do the work.

The project already has $455,630 in funding and VDOT is recommending adding $54,458 to that total in FY18 that begins July 1.

That $54,458 accounts for about 14 percent of the $381,212 the county is allocated for secondary road projects in FY18. Twenty years ago, the county allocation was about $1.5 million.

The proposed SRIP proposes using $266,754 in FY18 for the McFalls Road project.

That, along with savings from another Rural Rustic Road project, will allow VDOT officials to accelerate the McFalls Road work. The savings came from the just-completed reconstruction and surface treatment of Buhrman Road near Eagle Rock. That project came in under budget and those funds can be shifted to the McFalls Road project.

It’s estimated the 0.6 mile of McFalls Road will cost $500,000, but VDOT officials believe it can be done for less. The project already has $141,641 allocated with $266,754 recommended for funding in FY18 and $91,695 recommended for FY19 if needed.

VDOT is also recommending that the SRIP Priority No. 3 remains the same, as well. That’s another unpaved road project for 4 miles of White Church Road west of Fincastle.

That project is estimated to cost $420,000. Not funding has been set aside for that work, and VDOT is recommending $215,253 be allocated in FY19 and the rest in FY20, all out of the Unpaved Roads fund. Plans are to advertise that work in August of next year.

Priority No. 4, work on 1 mile of Stone Coal Road, also west of Fincastle, is another project that would use the Commonwealth Transportation Board’s and Salem District Grant Unpaved Roads funds. That project is expected to cost about $420,000 with an advertisement date for the work in July 2020.

The No. 5 priority and the only other project in the proposed secondary road plan is a Rural Addition project that would improve British Woods Drive off Alt. 220.

That project is expected to cost $204,473, with $184,473 already allocated. VDOT estimates it will go to bid in July next year.

The rest of the county’s FY18 secondary road funds— $162,557— is allocated for Countywide Traffic Services for secondary speed zones, speed studies and new secondary signs; and fertilization and seeding, $15,026.


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