The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Major Stafford County road projects: Where things stand
There is plenty of roadwork going on in Stafford County. And there is plenty more in the planning phases.
On Wednesday night, local transportation officials laid out details and gave updates on numerous projects to about two dozen people at the Falmouth Volunteer Fire Department.
Some of the projects are the biggest in the area, including the Interstate 95 express lanes, the U.S. 17 widening and the reconstruction of the Falmouth intersection at U.S 1, U.S. 17 and Butler Road.
Preliminary work on the $24.5 million project started in December, when crews demolished buildings and homes around the intersection. Since then, much of the work has focused on moving utility lines underground.
Kelly Hannon, with the Virginia Department of Transportation, said a contractor should be chosen by February, with actual roadwork starting in March or April.
If all goes according to plan, the new intersection should be completed by September 2015.
The expanded intersection will have a total of eight new through and turn lanes, which are expected to help with the congestion. Raised medians, concrete walls and trees will be added to the intersection. Pedestrian crossings also will be added.
Most of the project-related lane closures will happen at night, Hannon said.
One man at the meeting asked if there are plans to deal with potential bottlenecks on Butler Road and U.S. 1, including the Falmouth Bridge.
Hannon said VDOT understands the Falmouth Bridge will eventually need major rehab work or to be replaced, but there are no specific plans on what to do yet.
Keith Dayton, Stafford’s deputy administrator, said the county has plans to widen Butler Road. That could happen in 2019.
Another man called the Falmouth Bridge an “eyesore.”
Stafford Supervisor Susan Stimpson said the board has talked about that and said it’s possible something could be done about it.
Another current major project Hannon pointed out is the U.S. 17 widening, which is in the early stages of construction.
That $49.8 million project will widen the highway from McLane Drive to just north of Stafford Lakes Boulevard.
That project is expected to be finished in December 2016.
Stafford officials gave a rundown of work planned on more than a dozen roads.
The projects will improve numerous rural roads, such as Mountain View Road, Poplar Road, Brooke Road and Truslow Road.
The county also has plans to widen Garrisonville’s State Route 610 between Eustace and Onville roads.
VDOT also had a representative on hand to talk about the I–95 express-lanes project.
Work on the nearly $1 billion project is more than half complete.
VDOT’s Toymeika Braithwaite said there shouldn’t be many more major lane closures.
But there will be some full nighttime I–95 closures related to steel-beam placement on the flyover in Garrisonville.
That work will shut down southbound lanes north of the Garrisonville exit Friday and Saturday nights.
Once those steel beams are in place, that should be it for the major interstate closures, Braithwaite said.
The express lanes are expected to be open in early 2015.
Scott Shenk: 540/374-5436