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Work set to start on Culpeper’s inner loop

For months, crews have been moving utilities. Now Culpeper’s real traffic headache is about to begin.

Actual construction on the town’s inner loop (Colonel Jameson Parkway) is scheduled to start Tuesday. For the next 270 days, motorists who normally travel the Old Rixeyville Road and the Sperryville Pike should be prepared to wait or take alternate routes.

“You will see a lot of activity in the first 30 to 90 days in the Bald’s Run area off Old Rixeyville Road,” said town Public Works Director Jim Hoy.

The first order of business will be to install a box culvert in Bald’s Run. Then, by late spring, General Excavation, which was awarded the $10.1 million project, is expected to begin work on the Old Rixeyville Road roundabout.

“For several months, Old Rixeyville Road will be closed to through traffic to allow for the construction of the roundabout,” said Hoy.

“To the extent possible, we will schedule this road closure during the summer months to avoid disruption of school traffic,” he added. “Signs will be posted about the closure, but motorists should factor in additional travel time to their travels due to detours and construction delays.”

When completed, the six-tenths-of-a-mile stretch of road will link Sperryville Pike, with a roundabout at Virginia Avenue, to North Main Street, with a roundabout at the Wendy’s restaurant.

The latter roundabout, on which construction began before Christmas, is part of a VDOT project to widen North Main Street to four lanes all the way to the town limits. That job, awarded to the same contractor, is not scheduled for completion until August 2015.

Colonel Jameson Parkway is planned to be completed before the North Main Street project is done. Weather permitting, the inner loop will be ready by Thanksgiving.

While the inner loop is being built to alleviate backups at the Main and Evans street stoplight, this summer’s Old Rixeyville Road closure will burden that intersection even more—as will construction at the North Main Street roundabout.

The result is likely to result in a giant headache for area commuters traveling to and from Northern Virginia on the Sperryville Pike.

Work on the county’s outer loop road is scheduled to begin this fall.

Donnie Johnston: