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Route 3 change isn’t so simple

BY SCOTT SHENK

Transportation fixes are rarely as simple as they may seem.

That’s something David Ross found out at Monday night’s board meeting for the Fredericksburg Area Metropolitan Planning Organization.

A Spotsylvania County representative on the FAMPO board, Ross had recently asked staff there to look into the possibility of converting a 2-mile stretch of a dedicated right-turn lane on State Route 3, from Bragg Road west to Chewning Lane.

Changing it to a through lane would help traffic on the congested highway, Ross has said.

FAMPO staff produced a traffic impact model that showed a change could help with congestion, but that numerous other issues would have to be studied before a final decision could be made.

Other recent studies came to similar conclusions, said FAMPO administrator Lloyd Robinson.

Those issues were reiterated and expanded on during the meeting.

Quintin Elliott, VDOT’s Fredericksburg District administrator, agreed with the study findings.

He said that changes would have to be made to such things as curbing and could impact federal funding for the current Route 3 widening project, which is supposed to be finished in the summer.

Ross said the process seemed seriously flawed. He added that the structural issues seem to be related simply to traffic-control designs.

Elliot, who grew irritated by the implication, denied that was the case and said the design issues are safety related.

Matt Kelly, a Fredericksburg representative on the board, reminded everyone that even with the changes the recent model  showed that Route 3 would still fail long-term capacity levels.

Gary Skinner, the FAMPO board chairman and a Spotsylvania supervisor, said the county’s board would have to look at the issue and determine whether to move forward with more studies.

In other items, the FAMPO board:

Voted to pay $20,000, with Spotsylvania adding another $25,000, to expand the interchange studies on Jackson Gateway in the Massaponax area.

Preliminary plans for the project, aimed at fixing congestion on roads in that area, have a price tag of over $400 million.

More than $500,000 has already been spent on the Jackson Gateway studies.

Agreed to support the Virginia Railway Express stance that it should continue to get millions in federal funding to cover track access fees that are in jeopardy because of federal funding changes.

Got some background on the potential extension of the Interstate 95 express lanes to Massaponax. Work is  under way to extend the new electronically tolled lanes from Dumfries to Garrisonville.

The board wanted to know where the funding for that project would come from, but VDOT’s Mike Estes didn’t have  details.

Scott Shenk:  540/374-5436

sshenk@freelancestar.com

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/newsdesk/2012/11/19/route-3-change-isnt-so-simple/

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