During the August 8 Christiansburg Town Council meeting, Justin St. Clair, Assistant Engineering Director, presented an update on funding programs and capital projects.
Council member Johana Hicks asked for further information on the Cambria Connector project and if public hearings had been conducted prior to applying for funding to pay for the project.
A petition presented in a previous council meeting with over 200 citizen signatures requested Council to not seek funding from VDOT for a road that would connect Route 460 and Peppers Ferry Road (Route 114).
“I’m not aware of anything that would be the impetus for that. I mean every time we apply for it, we have a public hear-, well, I don’t want to say we have a public hearing, but there is a resolution of support the Council provides,” St. Clair said. “So, it is run through a Council process where it is noted publicly that we are trying to apply for that project, for those funds.”
Town Manager Randy Wingfield also responded to Council’s questions concerning the Cambria Connector project. According to Wingfield, the Town was not included in funding for the over 30-million-dollar project and would reapply in two years. Even if approved, Wingfield said, the project would be placed at the end of VDOT’s six-year plan for projects.
“That road is probably eight years out, kind of best-case scenario,” Wingfield said.
In the meeting agenda’s presentations, Assistant Engineering Director Justin St. Clair shared information with Council on other funding programs as well. According to St. Clair, some of the funding resources utilized by the town include Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), and Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR).
VDOT works on a two-year funding cycle, with even years providing funding different from that money released to communities in odd years. The town is currently in an odd year.
“So, right now we have revenue sharing and transportation alternatives and the highway safety improvement program funding process where we would apply for those projects, deliver different information to them. Some of those are competitive scoring. Some of those are just a pool of money that’s distributed kind of evenly across the Commonwealth,” St. Clair said.
St. Clair also stated that the even years are the bigger projects like the Smart Scale program, which is the program that would pay for the Cambria Connector project and are one hundred percent approved by the state.
One safety improvement that residences may notice is the replacement of stoplight signal backplates. They will be highly reflective, instead of the black backplate previously used, and will be a safety improvement for drivers, St. Clair said.
The bridge local drivers use when turning on Depot Street from Roanoke Street has also received one hundred percent funding for replacement. This project that would have had a price tag of over five million dollars will not need any funding from the town of Christiansburg.
A full presentation of all proposed and on-going improvement projects can be viewed on the live streamed video provided by Christiansburg Town Council on their website at www.christiansburg.org.
In other Council business, Hicks made a movement to approve items on the consent agenda. This included an awarded contract to Boxley Materials Company in the amount of $731,290.25 for construction of the primary extension paving of Roanoke Street and Peppers Ferry Road. The contract was approved unanimously by the Council.