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Stafford set to go on bond projects

BY KATIE THISDELL

Stafford County is issuing the first bonds for projects approved by voters several years ago.

In 2008 and 2009, voters agreed to let the county issue $99 million in bonds to help pay for a list of eight parks projects and 20 transportation projects. Progress has been made on some items on the two lists using other types of funding.

Now the county is gearing up to start issuing the first of the bonds. The first batch will provide about $30.4 million toward $42.1 million in projects. Some of them are:

CURTIS PARK POOL, $1.5 MILLION

THE PROJECT: Plans show it’s more cost-effective to renovate the 38-year-old pool and get 10 more years of life from it than to build a new one, so that’s what the county intends to do.

WHY? Tests show leaks in the gutter and plumbing systems.

TIMELINE: It will be put to bid next summer, and work will be done during the off-season. Plans call for it to open for the summer of 2014.

COST BREAKDOWN: $1.5 million, all from bonds.

BROOKE ROAD, $6.5 MILLION

THE PROJECT: Plans call for improving the 1.8-mile stretch south of Eskimo Hill Road by adding 6-foot shoulders on each side and upgrading the existing 11-foot-wide lanes.

WHY? In 2010, VDOT recorded 2,100 vehicles per day. The agency estimates that could jump by nearly 35 percent–to 2,824 vehicles–by 2022.

TIMELINE: The public comment period ends Jan. 2. Right-of-way acquisitions will begin in April, with construction expected to start in spring 2014.

COST BREAKDOWN: Of the nearly $6.5 million slated for this, $2.8 million comes from bonds, $461,000 from fuels tax and $3.2 million from revenue sharing.

FIELDS AT EMBREY MILL, $11.8 MILLION

THE PROJECT: The athletic complex at Embrey Mill off Courthouse Road, west of Interstate 95, will include 12 irrigated, lighted fields. A 50-meter indoor swimming pool is also planned, but must be funded separately because it wasn’t specified in the bond referendum.

TIMELINE: The design contract for the fields was recently awarded to Timmons Group. County staff plans to put the construction contract out to bid in late winter. It’s slated to finish in spring 2014. Design is under way for the pool, and the county is searching for a contractor.

COST BREAKDOWN: About $9 million of the total cost will come from bonds and the rest from the developer.

GARRISONVILLE ROAD, $13.8 MILLION

THE PROJECT: The four-lane highway will be widened to six lanes from Onville Road to Eustace Road.

TIMELINE: The scheduled completion date is 2016. A contract is being negotiated.

COST BREAKDOWN: Of the $13.8 million estimated cost, $5.9 million comes from bonds, $1 million from service district fees and $6.9 million from revenue sharing.

CHICHESTER PARK, $8.5 MILLION

THE PROJECT: Plans for the park, near Stafford High School, call for five diamonds for baseball and softball, which will be irrigated and lighted. Also planned are two picnic shelters, a playground and a building for concessions and restrooms.

TIMELINE: The project was put out to bid this month. It should be complete in spring 2014.

COST BREAKDOWN: The $8.5 million park will be fully funded by bonds.

MORE ROAD PROJECTS

Aside from the work on Garrisonville and Brooke roads, improvements are under way on the following stretches:

Poplar Road north of Truslow Road, and Poplar at Mountain View Road.

Truslow Road between Plantation Drive and Berea Church Road.

Mountain View Road west of the high school.

U.S. 17 widening.

Courthouse Road west of Interstate 95 and Courthouse Road at the CSX bridge.

Sidewalks along Hampton Park Road, Staffordboro Boulevard and South Gateway Drive, and inside Stafford Marketplace.

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