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Roads and bridges are set for major upgrades

Posted on Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at 11:36 am

County tax rates and budget improvements were not the only items on the agenda during Thursday night’s Lancaster County Board of Supervisors meeting; the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) was an active voice at the meeting.
David Brown spoke on behalf of the organization and helped residents understand what portion of the state’s $11 billion improvement budget would be used to mend roads, bridges, and other areas of transportation concern in the Northern Neck.

Lancaster County falls in VDOT’s Fredericksburg district. According to VDOT’s website, the district is made up of 14  counties and has over 5,200 miles of roadway. Brown explained that the district’s budget has been increased to $440 million, up from $180 million in 2012.

According to Brown, repairing bridges is a major concern in Fredericksburg County, and VDOT plans to spend $35.7 million to repair and rebuild damaged bridges.

Board members were concerned about the state of the Robert O. Norris Bridge, which spans the Rappahannock River. William Lee of District 4 asked Brown to consider advocating on behalf of rebuilding the bridge altogether, but Brown believes VDOT will be in favor of restoring and maintaining the existing structure.

Besides bridges, VDOT aims to “improve the ride.” Plans are being made to repave areas of Route 3 and Route 200, and teams are being sent out to move traffic signs that have been covered by fuller summer plants.

The changes and improvements, as well as Brown’s commitment to relaying details and explanations, were met with support and enthusiasm among both Board Members and attendees.