WHILE Interstate 95 is the big dog when it comes to transportation in the Fredericksburg region, the area’s lesser-known roads are every bit as important to how we get around.
With that in mind, here are five potential road projects that are considered by some as the most important to help keep traffic moving in the future.
Each project was mentioned by Fredericksburg Area Metropolitan Planning Organization Administrator Paul Agnello during a transportation meeting hosted by the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce last week.
Gateway Boulevard extension
This is a city project that would take Gateway Boulevard from the intersection with the Wawa on State Route 3 near the I–95 interchange to Cowan Boulevard. It was initially listed in the state’s third round of Smart Scale program, but was withdrawn.
Fredericksburg Councilman Matt Kelly, chairman of the FAMPO Policy Committee, said the extension will be needed if the city develops property where the road would run. The property is in the running for a new Veterans Administration clinic; if that doesn’t pan out, the city still plans to develop the property, Kelly said.
He said one plan is to pay for the project through tax revenue tied to the property’s development.
Pair of Stafford projects
One of two Stafford County projects mentioned by Agnello is the widening of Shelton Shop Road from two to four lanes.
That project is in the county’s long-range plan, and is included in the transportation bond package the county is seeking, Supervisor Mark Dudenhefer said.
“Shelton Shop is a dangerous road,” he said.
Dudenhefer said plans for that project are being developed.
The other project is an extension of Mine Road from Courthouse Road to U.S. 17.
Dudenhefer, who sits on the FAMPO Policy Committee, was surprised to hear that project was mentioned.
“We have not discussed that,” he said, adding that he knows of no plans in the works.
He also said there would be too many complications involved with the project and if it were ever to get done, it would be “years and years away.”
Two projects in Spotsylvania County were highlighted by Agnello: the widening of Harrison Road and extending Germanna Point Drive.
The Harrison widening, from two to four lanes, would run from Salem Church Road to U.S. 1, where that intersection has been upgraded with additional turn lanes. That project has been trumpeted by Supervisor David Ross. Harrison Road is in his district.
Agnello said improvements to the Harrison and Salem Church intersection are on tap, and that would include widening. That work likely won’t be done until 2024 or 2025, he added. After that, the widening of the rest of Harrison would be pursued.
The Germanna Point Drive extension, which didn’t score well in Smart Scale, would take that road from U.S. 17 to Lafayette Boulevard.
Supervisors Chris Yakabouski and Garry Skinner both want that project to get done.
“It’s very high on my priorities of things to do,” said Skinner, who added that it’s unclear where the funding would come from.
Yakabouski said the project “would be a great connection” and draw traffic away from U.S. 1 in that area.
“It’s always been a mess” on U.S. 1 there, he said, adding that it’ll only get worse with various apartment complexes being built in that area.