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Road linking UMW, MWH to open soon
Eagle Village Drive to connect UMW, MWH

 Eagle Village Drive will carry traffic between Sam Perry Boulevard and Eagle Village when it opens.
PETER CIHELKA/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
Visit the Photo Place
Date published: 2/26/2012

BY BILL FREEHLING

Eagle Village Drive will soon provide a physical connection between the University of Mary Washington and Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg, a longstanding goal for both.

Collins Contracting Co. is putting the final touches on the curving connector between Sam Perry Boulevard and the UMW Foundation's Eagle Village mixed-use development. It's expected to open to cars, pedestrians and bicyclists within the next couple of weeks after the asphalt is laid down.

The idea for the road came up years ago, said UMW Foundation CEO Jeff Rountree. He thinks it will allow for "interesting connections" between Mary Washington Healthcare and the university and its students.

Mary Washington Healthcare Executive Vice President Walt Kiwall called the connector road a "great example of community partners working together to enhance the quality of life for its citizens and visitors."

The road could also provide a significant boost to Eagle Village's development.

While Eagle Village has always been a relatively easy trip from the hospital campus, drivers have previously had to take a roundabout route from Cowan or Mary Washington boulevards to U.S. 1. Eagle Village Drive allows for a short stroll or ride to the development's many restaurants and other retail options.

Thousands of employees, patients and vendors come to the hospital campus every day, and Rountree is optimistic that Eagle Village's existing businesses will see more of them due to Eagle Village Drive.

He says leasing activity at Eagle Village, which still has ample new retail space available amid a sluggish economy, has picked up since the road took form. Additional eateries have expressed interest, as have medical office users. No additional leases have been finalized.


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