County applies for fixes to dangerous intersections

County applies for fixes to dangerous intersections

By Christina Dimeo, editor

The Fluvanna County Board of Supervisors agreed Wednesday (July 11) to apply for money to fix four dangerous intersections around the county.

The county will file its applications by Aug. 1 in an attempt to secure funding through the Virginia Department of Transportation’s (VDOT) Smart Scale system.

Topping the list is the intersection between Route 53 and Turkeysag Trail at Lake Monticello. That intersection “is the highest safety concern in the county currently,” said Chuck Proctor, VDOT engineer.

VDOT is proposing a roundabout at that location similar to the roundabouts at Routes 15 and 53, Routes 53 and 600, and the one planned for Routes 53 and 618.

The county also wants a fix for the intersection of Routes 15 and 613 (Bybees Church Road). The plan is to add a left turn lane to “reduce the number of crashes and rear-end collisions,” Proctor said.

Next on the list is the intersection of Routes 15 and 631 (Troy Road). Bad sight distance due to a crest curve has led to rear-end collisions, Proctor said.

“We’re going to add a left turn lane on Route 15 northbound to Troy Road and we’re going to fix that curve so you can have better sight distance,” Proctor said.

Finally, the county hopes to fix the intersection of Route 250 and 631 (Troy Road). “This one had a lot of crashes in a lot of different directions,” Proctor said.

VDOT is recommending a roundabout at that location as well. “We knew there would definitely be some growth and increased traffic” due to economic development, Proctor said, so a roundabout seemed like the best solution.

All four projects will be submitted to Smart Scale, but likely not all will receive funding.

“We have several different revenue streams that we’ll focus on to fund these projects,” said Alan Saunders, VDOT residency engineer. “Just because it doesn’t get Smart Scale funding doesn’t mean it’s not a need.”

The Commonwealth Transportation Board will review all Smart Scale applications over the next several months. Any Fluvanna projects selected for funding will receive money in fiscal year 2021, Saunders said. The road improvements would get underway in 2023.

“We’ll still probably need to do some of those [improvements] in the interim because that funding is going to be way out, if we get funding,” said Proctor. “We may have to look at other options if they don’t get funded… but if you don’t apply, you’re not going to get funded.”

New social services positions

Medicaid expansion has greatly increased the number of people eligible for Medicaid in Fluvanna, said Kim Mabe, director of social services.

Medicaid was expanded to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, Mabe said, and has created a third category for adults who may or may not have children but who are in low-paying jobs. Medicaid will provide coverage to 33 percent of the uninsured in Fluvanna, which translates to about 829 new cases.

That new work load warrants two full-time workers, Mabe said. She also anticipates a substantial uptick in applications as people who may or may not be eligible for coverage hear about the expansion and apply. Workers are needed to process those applications.

Mabe requested a new full-time benefit specialist position and an upgrade to full-time of a part-time benefit programs specialist. The state contributed $78,399 toward this cost and at this point there is no local match, Mabe said. Next year the county will need to supply 15.5 percent of the cost of the positions, or $12,152.

In other matters:

  • Supervisors honored former planner James Newman, who is leaving after three years in Fluvanna to become the zoning administrator for Fredericksburg. “I’m hoping the experience he takes from us will benefit him, and we certainly have benefitted from him being here,” said County Administrator Steve Nichols.
  • Supervisors reappointed Scott Marshall and Curtis Putnam to the Economic Development Authority. They decided to invite Keith Smith and Rudy Garcia, who are applying for the final slot, to speak to them Aug. 1 about why they would like the position.
  • Supervisors reappointed Frank Gallo to the Piedmont Virginia Community College Board.
  • Supervisors voted to hire Delta Response Team LLC to run rescue calls in the county. More details are forthcoming.

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