Country Club

Road recommendations outlined

Fredericksburg on Tuesday weighed in with its suggestions to improve the Interstate 95 corridor, something the Virginia Department of Transportation will assess as regional transportation planners struggle with infighting.

Meanwhile, Spotsylvania County’s Board of Supervisors also touched on the subject at its Tuesday meeting.

Last month, Virginia Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton asked VDOT to gather suggestions from Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania and Stafford County after learning the details of a long-standing dispute at the Fredericksburg Area Metropolitan Planning Organization.

The battle has been over a parkway that was once included as part of the Rappahannock River Crossing, a multiphase project aimed at improving traffic flow along the I–95 corridor in the Fredericksburg area.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the Spotsylvania supervisors voted, 6–1, to enhance its recommended improvements, initially approved in September. Emmitt Marshall cast the lone dissenting vote.

The original resolution supported a bypass that would start in Stafford and run through Culpeper and end in Orange County near State Route 20, but would not enter Spotsylvania. It also supported elements of the Rappahannock River Crossing project and suggested adding I–95 ramps to Harrison and Courthouse roads.

Tuesday’s resolution states that a southward extension connecting the Spotsylvania bypass to I–95 should be considered. It also says the supervisors would be open to the bypass being rerouted into Spotsylvania.

The resolution restates the board’s opposition to the Rappahannock Parkway, a proposed four- to six-lane toll road that would run from the Welcome Center on I–95 to State Route 3 at Gordon Road. An additional analysis points out concerns with property impacts, the tolling aspect of the parkway and potential problems with creating an interchange on State Route 3 at Gordon Road.

Fredericksburg City Council on Tuesday unanimously selected its suggestion—basically the original Rappahannock River Crossing project, including the Rappahannock Parkway.

This Rappahannock River Crossing calls for improvements to the U.S. 17 and Route 3 interchanges and the addition of collector–distributor roads running parallel to Interstate 95 between the interchanges. That would include new northbound and southbound bridges next to the current Interstate 95 bridge over the Rappahannock.

These portions of the project are still in the planning and review phase, with $55 million in funding set aside.

While presenting the resolution, Councilman Matt Kelly also mentioned the old outer connector.

“The outer connector,” he said,” is gonna come back as part of the discussion.”

Scott Shenk: 540/374-5436

sshenk@freelancestar.com

 

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