Spotsylvania News

Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.

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Massaponax Church Road fix updates

This blog drew some comments about the condition of Massaponax Church Road in the area of Cedar Forest Elementary.

Well, Becky Golden, the director of capital projects, has updated details on the county website.

She said the straightening of the curves, funded by the School Board, will require the county paying to raise the road through the flood plain.

“Our combined project is fully funded and right-of-way negotiations are underway.  Construction is expected to begin later this summer and be completed by 12/2011.”

Implementation of the County’s Road Construction program is a careful and deliberate process, since we are acquiring property from our citizens and businesses, and ensuring that the plans address maintenance of traffic, safety and quality control, as well as protection of the environment.  These estimated completion dates will be updated quarterly.

PHASE I PROJECTS Status as of 4/2010 Estimated Completion Date
Harrison East / Kingswood / Beauclaire – Turning Lanes and New Traffic Signal Completed – Activated 5/21/09
Gordon/Chancellor Intersection – Turning Lanes and new traffic signal – Constructing ultimate fill for 4-lane Divided Gordon; constructing ultimate northbound curb and sidewalk Completed – Activated 11/09
Massaponax / Route 17 – Turning lanes and raise road through flood plain R/W Negotiations Underway December 2011
Massaponax Church Road – improve, straighten and widen to an improved 2-lane road, the portion of Massaponax Church Road from 0.24 mile south of US Route 17 (Mills Drive), to 0.74 mile south of US Route 17 – funded by School Board Facilities account for Cedar Forest Elementary School R/W Negotiations Underway
Smith Station / Piedmont – Turning lanes and new traffic signal R/W Negotiations Underway April 2011
Mine / Hardwood / Campbell – Turning Lanes and New Traffic Signal R/W Negotiations Underway December 2010
Mine / Lansdowne – Turning Lanes and New Traffic Signal R/W Negotiations Underway May 2011
PHASE II PROJECTS – Concept Design Completed, Spotsylvania County Infrastructure, LLC to Design and Construct – Funded in FY 2010 CIP Estimated Cost Estimated Completion Date
Harrison East / Route 1 – Portion of 4-lane divided Harrison to Graningers Circle; close Rt. 1 Service Road; reconfigure side streets west of Rt. 1; Dual Left turning lanes for northbound Rt. 1; Wide radius for southbound Rt. 1 to westbound Harrison (tractor trailer radius).  $10 Million anticipated funding through VDOT Secondary Road 6-year plan allocations – VDOT Funding as of 4/09 is $5.4 Million. $13.5 Million January 2015
Mine / Falcon / Spotsylvania Ave. – turning lanes for Falcon and Spotsylvania Ave. to eliminate “split” traffic signal phasing $1.3 Million January 2013
Massaponax / Route 1 – Turning lanes and traffic signal modifications $1.9 Million January 2013
Jones Powell – 2 lane improved section (11’ lanes w/ 5’ shoulders) From 0.4 Mile East of Belmont Rd to Lawyers Rd.  VDOT Funding as of 4/09 is $200,000 $7.5 Million October 2014
Leavells / Galaxie Dr Intersection – Turning lanes (No traffic signal) $2.8 Million October 2015
Leavells Road – Raise Road through flood plain, including new bridge over Massaponax Creek.  $1.2 Million anticipated funding through VDOT Secondary Road 6-year plan allocations – VDOT Funding as of 4/09 is $573,906. $10.5 Million October 2015
Smith Station / Courthouse – Turning lanes on existing Smith Station alignment and traffic signal modification $1.7 Million April 2013
Smith Station / Massaponax – Right turn lane for Smith Station in existing right of way $840,722 October 2015


  • http://Z2KS LarryG

    Thanks for posting this Dan. Looking this over… I think it’s pretty easy to see that the VRE money we get, while very helpful, is not going to touch the costs associated with these projects.

    And remember also that these are slimmed down projects to focus on the most urgent areas once the county discovered that the original estimates in the VDOT 6yr plan were outdated and about 1/2 or less than the actual costs.

    I am also amused by the fiction that School Board money will be used to fix Massaponax – like they didn’t get the money from Spotsylvania County and it’s taxpayers.

    What the School system accomplished by putting the school on that road was to essentially bump up the priority for that road to be upgraded at the expense of some other planned upgrade that will not be deferred.

    I add these projects up to 40 million. I believe the referenda was for $120 million and I forget what happened. Did we hold off on the rest?

  • bhaas

    At the risk of sounding like one of the BOS, the actions of the General Assembly wrt transportation have been deplorable IMHO. I only wish I believed their actions were driven by reasons other than political.

    I am sorry, I simply have lost faith in our state pols, as I have in our fed pols. AND that means those on both sides of the political aisle.

    I offer the following suggestion to both of our “august” legislative assemblies (Wash and Richmond). Lower the federal and state income tax rates to levels (probably fractions of a percent) COMMENSURATE with passing the responsibilities, beyond those required by the Federal and State Constitutions (YES, I understand that issue will be difficult…take it away from politicians and it may not be so difficult), OFFICIALLY to the localities and WE will take care of the things you folks find so difficult to deal with.

    Before those of you that have a conservative or social/progressive “bent” start your “vent” against my suggestion; you need to consider the recent history of where we have been going. WE keep paying the same or more and are receiving less. IF you like that…VENT away my friends.

  • http://Z2KS LarryG

    Bill – are the advocating for an increase in the state (or Federal) gasoline tax?

    I would only point out that most polls show about 80% of citizens opposed to the idea so no pol Dem or Republican is likely to wade into that bee nest.

    Here’s the deal from my perspective. If we think the answer is higher taxes – then we have that option right now an further – we have the ability to spend that money instead of waiting for it to come back to us from Richmond at some point in the future minus what is a substantial “administrative” fee that from what I can tell is more than 20% (looking at VDOT budgets).

    So we, at the local level, have the ability to control our own destiny without sending even MORE taxes to Richmond or Washington, right?

    Now.. if you’re thinking we should get more of them back or that we should just do away with the existing gas taxes, then that’s a whole different ball game and I have to admit, I’ve never seen a ball that asks how many folks would do away with gas taxes all together.

    or am I on a wildly different understanding of your “vents”?

  • bhaas

    Heheh…Larry, I am totally frustrated.

    I see no other way, speaking of transportation, than to increase the gasoline tax.

    In Washington the general trend is to keep spending (stimuli etc). The debt is out of control. Someone, our children and grandchildren and theirs, is going to have to pay sooner or later. In fact, I see a middle class federal tax hike coming along after this next election.

    In Richmond the trend is to, what’s the term, devolve(?) which is a fancy way to say our GA members do not have the guts to raise the revenue to pay for things like education and transportation. So they shove those reponsibilities down to the localities.

    In the end, no matter what, WE, the folks, will pay because we cannot just “suspend” many of these necessities. Yes, if we raise the revenue at the local level we do avoid those “admin fees” and I think that is preferable.

    Now here comes the rub… be it fed or state, our elected reps shove the responsibility down while maintaining their control, thus they need to keep whatever revenue they collect from us, while the local boys and girls need to increase taxes etc locally to handle the things that have been devolved. Final result, in many areas I think WE are paying twice or three times for the same service.

  • Martin (Marty) Work

    I can only direct you to pages 2 through 12 of the BOS April 20, 2010 meeting minutes to see how your VRE seed money will be spent FY 2011.

    My only question was how Supv. Connors, directly after the vote was taken on the budget, could have prepared a WRITTEN statement to the public, 3 pages long and his rationale for voting on .86 per 100 when moments before he didn’t know what the vote was going to be.

    His claim that he still has some issues that need to be addressed (in the budget), he launchs the BOS’s “Reinventing Government Task Force” to look for ways to streamline and CONSOLIDATE our operations and PROCESSES and hopfully make some SUBSTANTIVE changes that help us do things better, CHEAPER and FASTER.

    Why can’t he and the Board just provide more tranparency to the public and let the public be the judge of how fast and cheap and consolidated the public wants government to be, or is that something the public is required to take on faith alone? BECAUSE, I don’t don’t see any documents or details, other than scripted that would alow the public to make an informed decision on anything.

    FIRE/RESCUE and EMS just being one the many issues the public took on faith and for 10 years and watched it unravel in a single day.

    Maybe Supv. Connors has the where-with-all to open some doors, so the public can look in and decide for themselves what serves in the County’s best interest or not, or a least get a qualified explanation why HIS road is the only road. You really don’t know uless you ask.

  • http://Z2KS LarryG

    okay, here’s the part I don’t get. If someone thinks the answer is to raise taxes then what is the difference between raising them at the local level verses at the state level?

    Why would we call Richmond feckless for not raising taxes when at the local level we also don’t want to raise them?

    It just seems to me that if we want more money to go for roads – we can do it if we really want to.

    I really do not want Richmond raising taxes because I believe when they do it – we do not get our share back anyhow.

    I also like the idea of Spotsylvania deciding what transportation projects to prioritize and how to break them up into sub projects because VDOT often prioritizes in different ways and often will not agree to break up projects into sub projects.

    We have a whole lot more flexibility if we fund ourselves and we get every dime of it.

    That’s better getting Richmond to do it.

    Similar with schools an law enforcement.

    Some counties in Va are too poor to have taxes raised on their folks anyhow. They prefer to not have taxes raised and to decide locally what they can afford or not.

    I know this is not what you mean probably but what comes across is the you want Washington to tax us less but Richmond to tax us more.

    70% of the problem in Washington is entitlements – Social Security and Medicare and it has an easy fix. Change the retirement age to 70.

  • bhaas

    No, I am sorry if I did not make myself clear.

    Go back to my 6/24/10, 8:05 pm post #2 and carefully read the third paragraph. I would have the majority of our taxes of all kinds paid at the local level. I agree with you, that is the most efficient and most cost effective for the tax-payers.

    I carry the movement one more step, with tongue in cheek, that the fed and state lower our income taxes to very low levels and let the locality levy taxes and fix the problems.

    The tongue in cheek comes from my knowledge that the fed and state is not about to give up that revenue. That is the “rub” I mentioned because we will pay for some things twice or three times due to the fact that they get the money now and do not fix the problems. Sooner or later we will have to pay again at the local level to get anything fixed.

    I also agree with you about entitlements and I would like to see the retirement age raised to 70, perhaps higher for some people.

  • Martin (Marty) Work

    Thank you for being so transparent

  • http://Z2KS LarryG

    We all get upset when we hear of some bone-headed example of govt waste and abuse and rightly so but about 90% of the Federal budget is the Military and Entitlements. While it might feel good to flush some corrupt agency … any real reductions in taxes will on result from cuts in the Military or cuts in Entitlements and most Federal budget non-partisan players unfortunately say that we’ll need to not only cut entitlements but raise taxes because right now we’re funding two wars on a credit card at the same time we did tax cuts.

    At the State level it’s pretty simple. The vast, vast majority of money at the State level goes for education and public safety with about 70% of it coming back to the counties to fund teachers and deputies and the like.

    We could cut the state money. In fact, we are seeing it right now as the economy has effectively “cut” the state revenues and they have, in turn, cut what they give to us – much to the consternation of the BOS who have advised citizens to yell at their state reps … and I always ask … what should we be telling our state reps? raise the state taxes so they can “fully fund” our local deputies and teachers?


    Why not – NOT ASK the state to raise our taxes AND let us decide at the local level just how many deputies and teachers we can afford and/or are willing to pay for ?

    Why do we need to depend on the State for this money ESPECIALLY if the way it works is that they take it out of our income – send it to Richmond then let a bunch of State bean-counters decide how much to send back to us?

    If we truly want to become MORE self reliant – let’s NOT ask for State tax increases and let’s by all means take more responsibility at the local level for what we can afford and what we cannot.

    one more thing.. at the Federal Tax level – ALL Federal Taxes are at the lowest level in decades …. is what I hear…