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Scott Shenk writes about transportation issues affecting Fredericksburg-area residents. You can email him at sshenk@freelancestar.com.

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FAMPO looking for federal funding to use for U.S. 1 widening project

At its monthly meeting Monday night, the Fredericksburg Area Metropolitan Planning Organization will consider looking for federal money for a U.S. 1 widening project and will make some regular adjustments to funding for a variety of projects, based primarily on the June vote by the Commonwealth Transportation Board.

One of those adjustments is more of a clarification that no more public funding has been included in the public-private project that will bring express lanes (formerly HOT lanes) to Stafford, said FAMPO Administrator Lloyd Robinson.

The $940 million project will add two lanes in the median of I-95, covering nine miles from Dumfries to Garrisonville. The lanes would carry variable tolls for vehicles without at least three people.

In December, VDOT and Fluor-Transurban agreed in principle on the public-private venture. Under the agreement, Fluor-Transurban will foot $843 million of the project’s bill, and the state will pay for the remaining $97 million.

The contract still has to be finalized, which should happen later this year.

Looking for Unspent Federal Funds

FAMPO also will vote on whether to submit one local project into a pool with other jurisdictions looking for unused federal funding.

That project is the proposed widening of U.S. 1 from Telegraph Road north to the Prince William County line. FAMPO would be seeking $3.3 million in federal money.

Robinson said the widening project is the only local one that qualifies for the unused funds. Such projects have to be in the state’s Six-Year Improvement Program and be ready for completion of at least one phase.

The widening project fills those requirements but is in the early stages and has no timeline. The SYIP includes $869,000 in fiscal year 2014 for preliminary engineering.

The project, along with another one aimed at fixing the Telegraph Road intersection where the highway would be widened, is related to BRAC (base realignment and closure program). The Telegraph Road intersection project has $4 million in federal funding. There are no designs yet, but construction could start later this year and be finished by late 2013.

The BRAC program already has brought nearly 3,000 new federal workers to the area. They are based at the new Russell-Knox Building off Telegraph Road, on the west side of U.S. 1.

There also are new buildings at the Quantico Corporate Center on U.S. 1 just north of Telegraph Road.

Similar BRAC-related road work is nearly completed in the Triangle area, where U.S. 1 is being widened from four lanes to six.

Check back later online and in Tuesday’s Free Lance-Star for full coverage.

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/transportation/2012/07/16/fampo-looking-for-federal-funding-to-use-for-u-s-1-widening-project/

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