Highland Supervisors Approve VDOT 6 Year Road Construction Plan
Monterey, VA – On Tuesday evening, the Highland County Board of Supervisors held a public hearing on the Virginia Department of Transportation Road Construction Program for the county, known as the six-year plan. VDOT Lexington District Office representative Mike Henry presented the road projects in the plan to the Supervisors.
“The first project you see is Route 640, it’s a bridge project, on the south end of Bluegrass,” says Henry. “It’s just going to replace that bridge and the approaches to the bridge. The ad date in the second column is October, 2016; it’ll take that long to get the funding established for that. The second project you’ll see is Route 614, Cowpasture River Road. It starts basically a tenth of a mile south of Route 250 and goes for 1.7 miles. The third project is Route 617; it’s listed there as Possum Hollow road, it’s actually Seldom Seen. The plan for that project will be to start in 2017.”
The next project is Route 637, Dug Bank Road, starting at Route 250 and running for 2.9 miles to Route 638. Two projects are ongoing at present, Routes 615 and 619. They are nearing completion. Any funds remaining after completion of those two projects can be applied to the other projects on the list. There were no public comments on the six year plan. The Supervisors voted to approve the plan. Mr. Henry also commented on other ongoing road construction projects in the county.
“The Route 250 bridge project in McDowell is apparently still underway, but it is on schedule,” he says. “The planning completion date for that is still October the 13th and we don’t see any reason why that won’t be met. Paving started yesterday on Route 84; probably be down there another 8-10 days I would guess, weather permitting.”
Supervisor David Blanchard asked for additional information on the Route 84 paving project.
“The Route 84 paving project, that’s still down to Route 600?” asked Blanchard.
“Not quite,” says Henry. “It’s going 6.83 miles from [Route] 220 which will end up down about Mill Gap store. We had a funding cut late last year and can’t quite take it all the way to 600.”
“The plan is for next year to pick it up where we end up this time and take it all the way to the West Virginia line.”
Following his monthly report District Ranger Patrick Sheridan was asked by Supervisor Lee Blagg for an update on the emerald ash borer, an invasive insect that is killing ash trees in the mid-Atlantic region.
“So they’re anticipating a move into Virginia counties moreso than we have right now,” says Sheridan. “What we’ve got right now is about the seven northern counties in Virginia that are adjacent to Interstate 66. Those all are confirmed Emerald Ash Borer, and they’re all under a quarantine situation.”
“The entire state of West Virginia is under quarantine and has been for well over a year; a number of Emerald Ash has been found in WV. And then less than a year ago, Emerald Ash Borer was found to the south of us in Tennessee in some counties there, so it’s surrounding where we are right now, so folks believe it’s only a matter of time.”
A new set of purple boxes has been put out this spring to trap insects and monitor for emerald ash borer presence in Highland and Bath Counties.
Stay tuned next week for more news from the Highland County Board of Supervisors meeting.