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City to Request $101M in State Transportation Funds

By Susan Larson. File photo copyright Fredericksburg.Today

Fredericksburg City Council voted unanimously September 27, 2016, to apply for $101 million in Smart Scale and $375,000 in Highway Safety Improvement Program funds through the Virginia Department of Transportation.

The money would be used for three projects within the city or that would have a direct impact on city travelers and commuters, according to Senior Planner/Deputy Director Erik F. Nelson. There are no direct costs to the city.

The three projects are:

Twin Lakes/Kensington Trail Connector
Current project estimate: $2 million through Smart Scale
This project consists of a proposed ten-foot wide multi-use trail along Lafayette Boulevard, from Twin Lakes Drive to the proposed Telegraph Hill residential development. Stafford developer Andrew Garrett is still working with the city to obtain approval for Telegraph Hill. This new trail would connect with a similar trail to be built as part of the Telegraph Hill project, and it would link to the Virginia Central Railway Trail. Fredericksburg Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (FAMPO) staff will submit this application.

VRE Fredericksburg Line Capacity Expansion
Current project estimate: $136 million total cost, of which $99 million is being requested through Smart Scale
Virginia Railway Express (VRE) is seeking funding from the Commonwealth to combine several unfunded/underfunded projects in their Capital Improvement Program. The overall project will include a variety of station, parking, and storage yard expansion projects, as well as the acquisition of 11 new coaches. “There are no construction projects in the city, but these improvements will benefit the entire Fredericksburg Line,” Nelson said.

Signal Lights Safety Upgrade
Current project estimate: $375,000 total cost ($15,000 per signal) through the Highway Safety Improvement Program
“The Highway Safety Improvement Program has been revised to better address the safety needs of all public roads in the Commonwealth,” Nelson said. A portion of the funds will be made available in 2020 to jurisdictions which maintain their own local roads. “There are 25 signalized intersections within the city that need to be retrofitted with the new amber left turn arrow, which has been found to reduce vehicle collisions in left turn lanes,” Nelson said. These funds would cover that project.

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