The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Road work ahead at Spotsylania VRE station
The new Spotsylvania Virginia Railway Express station will include intersection work that some regular travelers of the U.S. 17 Bypass might like.
The commuter rail station, estimated to cost about $12 million and expected to be open by the end of the year, will be built in the Crossroads Business Park. It will include a platform and a 1,500-space parking lot.
To ease access to the station, highway improvements will be made to the intersection of Benchmark Road and Crossroads Parkway along the bypass.
Those changes will include a stoplight, additional turn lanes on Benchmark Road and Crossroads Parkway and realignment of those roads.
The intersection work is expected to cost about $3 million, said Brent Elam, director of engineering and construction for Spotsylvania’s utilities and public works department.
The need for the intersection changes came to light after a traffic study, Elam said. The study indicated that there could be 1,300 commuter vehicles in the lot the day the station opens.
That many vehicles would impact the intersection, so the county decided to add lanes and a stoplight to help with the increased traffic flow.
As for the CSX rail line, a $32.5 million third track also will be built as part of the station project. The new track will run from the Spotsylvania station to the area of the Fredericksburg station.
Plans for the station are still working their way through the process.
The county still has to purchase the property for the station and 25-acre parking lot from the Crossroads Business Park. Federal environmental studies are also being done.
Elam said the county hopes to advertise bids for the parking lot and intersection project in July or August.
“We hope to start moving dirt as soon as possible after that,” he said.
Gary Skinner, Spotsylvania supervisor and VRE Operations Board member, has said the goal is to have the station open in December.
“Right now, everything is going perfect,” he said Monday. “We’re still good to go.”
The county is managing the parking lot and intersection work. VRE and CSX Corporation are handling the station platform and third track design and construction.
The work is being paid for by a combination of Spotsylvania, VRE and federal funds.
Scott Shenk: 540/374-5436