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Residents get updates on work planned for Falmouth intersection and the Belmont-Ferry Farms Trail
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Date published: 4/25/2012
About three dozen people showed up for Monday night's town-hall meeting at the Falmouth Fire and Rescue station, where they got updates on the Falmouth intersection and the Belmont-Ferry Farm Trail projects.
Most of the meeting, organized by Stafford Board of Supervisors members Susan Stimpson and Robert Thomas, focused on the intersection.
The Virginia Department of Transportation's Michelle Shropshire started the meeting by giving a presentation on the intersection project. Afterward, residents wanted to know what will happen at the intersection during construction, what impact there could be on fire and rescue, and whether the improvements would help with problems at Carter Street.
Shropshire told the group that the current project arose only after numerous other plans or concepts--including a flyover, a bypass and even a roundabout--failed to gain traction.
The current $25 million improvement project will add eight lanes to U.S. 1, Butler Road and U.S. 17 combined. Sidewalks and raised medians will also be added, and many of the utilities will be put underground.
If nothing were done at the intersection, she said, in 2016 delays would be more than four minutes. With the improvements, delay times will be about a minute.
Those improvements should hold in the long-term, too, she said.
The project is currently in the right-of-way acquisition phase.
VDOT needs some or all of 27 properties for the project. Shropshire said they have closed on some of the parcels.
The highway department plans to start demolishing structures, including four businesses at the intersection and three homes on Butler Road, in early 2013, before work on the utilities begins.
Construction, which might take two years, could begin in early 2014.
The first question about the project concerned the impact on drivers during the project.
All of the roads feeding into the intersection will at times be reduced to one lane, Shropshire said. VDOT plans to do that work at night and during nonpeak times.
Phyllis Daley then asked if the project will help with the Carter Street and Butler Road intersection near the traffic light. She said it is a problem that needs to be fixed.
Daley said drivers on Carter Street constantly turn left and cross Butler Road, neither of which is allowed there. She said the intersection is dangerous.