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GETTING THERE: Questions continue about safety of trail crossing

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LET’S loop back around for an update on responses to the recent column regarding the Virginia Central Railway Trail crossing on the Blue and Gray Parkway.

This space can’t handle all of the responses, so we’ll give you one of the shorter ones, which touts the merits of a tunnel, based on a local example.

You can read all of the responses in full on the Transportation blog.

Dear Scott: The only other thought that I have regarding the Virginia Central and Blue and Gray crossing would be to do what Fredericksburg Academy did with their student parking lot: build under the intersection.

I think the ramping would be more easily compliant with ADA and it would probably cost less than a bridge (although I have no idea about that and I am assuming they already factored or looked at this option).

—David Wessel, Fredericksburg

That Fredericksburg Academy tunnel, which runs beneath Falcon Drive, is nice.

The thing is, the low terrain in that spot on Falcon Drive fits perfectly for that tunnel. The terrain around the Blue and Gray crossing is a different animal, which is something Fredericksburg Councilman Matt Kelly pointed out.

The terrain, he said, would make it difficult, if not impossible, to build a tunnel, or run the path along the Blue and Gray to the Hazel Run bridge and go under it, which was a suggestion from an online poster.

Building a bridge has its own complications, he said, because of American with Disabilities Act requirements and how high it would have to be to allow tractor–trailers to pass beneath it.

Cost is another issue.

“How much are you willing to spend on it?” Kelly asked.

Having said all that, he agreed that the crossing is a safety issue.

“There is no simple solution,” Kelly said.

He said officials will continue looking into options, “other than a bridge or a tunnel.”

The guess here is that a railroad crossing, as suggested by one reader, also is not an option.

Dear Scott: When is the work scheduled to correctly align the three westbound lanes of State Route 3 at Harrison’s Crossing?

—Dan E. Liebenow, Spotsylvania

This question, regarding the out-of-whack lanes just west of Gordon Road, came up last winter.

The problem is tied to the State Route 3 widening project that was completed in last July.

The Virginia Department of Transportation still plans to re-line the lanes this summer.

“This is one of our top priorities for pavement markings when the new fiscal year and budget begins July 1, and this work will be finished in the July–August timeframe,” VDOT’s Kelly Hannon said in an email.

Scott Shenk: 540/374-5436

sshenk@freelancestar.com

 

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