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GETTING THERE: Spotsylvania VRE station stalled over parking lot

MORE: Read more Spotsylvania County news

IF YOU’VE used Benchmark Road lately you’ve seen work on the new third track that Virginia Railway Express trains will use at some point in the (near) future.

The Spotsylvania County VRE station, though, is not moving along quite so quickly.

Negotiations for the 25 acres needed for the station’s 1,500-space parking lot in the Crossroads Business Park off U.S. 17 continue to drag on.

Talks originally involved the county and the property’s owners. But that didn’t work, so the Virginia Department of Transportation recently stepped in because it’s easier for the state agency to condemn and take the property while also negotiating the price.

The developers, George Lester and Fitz Johnson, say they want a fair price.

That amount seems to be up for debate.

They also have a different “vision” for the development, which would include a parking deck instead of a lot, to go along with their plan to build 610 apartment units and commercial space next to the VRE station site.

They also wanted to lease the property, something the county has no interest in doing.

VDOT spokeswoman Kelly Hannon said negotiations for the land continue. She said the hope is that the county can start the station and lot construction this summer.

Dear Scott: I am concerned about the deplorable condition of William Street and Princess Anne Street in the downtown area.

I am aware of the lengthy utility work that took place last year that has left the streets with irregular patches and a very rough ride. It is certainly not a pleasant sight for those visitors coming into the business district.

I would hope that the city has a short-term plan to fix the problem, either by milling and resurfacing, or at a minimum a leveling course.

I am asking you to contact the city manager, or transportation head to learn of the plan to rejuvenate these two vital city streets.

—George P. Romack, Stafford

The city streets surely are in rough shape, with the William and Princess Anne intersection being one of the worst.

The combination of the utility work and the pothole-inducing weather has made the already ramshackle streets worse.

Unfortunately, they’ll stay that way for a while yet.

The city has paving plans, but they’ll have to wait for sanitation line work to be completed.

This summer, crews will be digging up sections of city streets to replace the sewer line system.

Once that is finished, Public Works Department head Doug Fawcett said, there are plans to resurface William Street, from Kenmore Avenue to Caroline Street.

That could happen in the fall.

There are no immediate plans to resurface Princess Anne Street.

Scott Shenk: 540/374-5436