Spotsylvania News

Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.

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Widening State Route 3

For the first time since I’ve been here, I didn’t have to write a deadline story at the Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday. It felt good. The meeting was rather quick, too.

A story is running tomorrow on the future of improvements to Massaponax Church Road.

You possibly may soon see a huge sign coming to State Route 3 soon near Andora Drive. Supervisor Hap Connors asked staff to erect it to tell people that supervisors are moving ahead on widening the road there. These signs have been popping up in certain places, such as Harrison Road. They sort of look like garage sale signs to me. I’d have to completely stop my car to actually read all of what it says.

Here is what supervisors agreed to do last night, with Supervisor T.C. Waddy voting no:

Enter into a VDOT Project Administration Agreement to utilize the Federal funding allocated by the Commonwealth Transportation Board, and solicit Federal Design-Build proposals. Reject the PPTA proposals that were procured under Virginia Public Private Transportation Act guidelines.

This is new ground. Staff said no locality has done it this way before.

Here is some background:

At the 6/26/07 meeting, the Board approved W. C. English – Kimley-Horn as the successful Design-Build team in response to the County’s PPTA solicitation to widen Route 3 (Plank Road) to a 6-lane divided facility, from Gordon Road to Chewning Lane – a length of approximately 1-mile. The cost for the design alternative that provides two (2) “T” intersections (Five Mile Fork Road and Cherry Road relocated), versus the base design used in the RFP of one full four-way intersection, is $25 Million. The Commonwealth Transportation Board allocated $31.9 Million to widen a longer length of Route 3 (Chewning to Andora), and the FY 08-13 Primary & Interstate 6-year plan shows this funding to be “Bond Proceeds: State”, but with a “Report Note: State funds – for future federal conversion”. A letter from David S. Ekern, P.E., VDOT’s Commissioner, indicates that it is their intention to “Federalize” the project, that leaves the above three options available for the project. 

The option supervisors selected works like this: County administered Federal Design-Build. The above cost of $25 Million will likely increase, due to the Federal requirements for full environmental studies, and for the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise/Minority Business Enterprise (DBE/MBE) participation and reporting. The County would enter into a VDOT-County Project Administration agreement, and be required to readvertise, using required 120-day advertisement period. Per the attached letter from Harry W. Lee, VDOT’s Assistant District Administrator, in response to the Deputy County Administrator’s letter, we can expect approximately 60-days from the Board’s decision, to initiate the advertisement process.

Option 2 gives the county the ability to administer the project and give it more control and advantages to design-build rather than design-bid-build, county staff said.


Supervisor Gary Jackson isn’t holding his breath. He recalled how this project was discussed back in 2000, it went to a public meeting in 2001, only for the Commonwealth Transportation Board to pull the plug on it in 2002. No money has been officially appropriated. It’s just been put on hold so to speak. Jackson expressed interest in wanting to get this project rolling, but the process has been frustrating.


Until dirt is moving, I think I’ll save it for my blogs.