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Muddy Creek Bridge

CUMBERLAND – The construction and rehabilitation work on the Muddy Creek Bridge in the Cartersville area of Cumberland County should be completed ahead of schedule, according to comments made by the area's Virginia Department of Transportation local liaison Jorg Huckabee-Mayfield during Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting.

“All of the slats have been set and the contractor is currently forming and pouring the railing,” said Ms. Huckabee-Mayfield. “The roadwork will take place in March and we hope to have the road open in April. We are moving ahead very well.”

She went on to note that the Lynchburg District office has received many “statements of concern” related to the bridge project and will work harder in the future to inform the citizens about projects that are about to take place.

“As a result, we have taken steps to make sure that we do a better job soliciting public input and informing the public when we are about to embark on one of these projects. Certainly, with bridge closures, rural areas suffer the highest impact because some of the detours can be lengthy and we've taken these comments to heart. As a result, we will be providing better notice to the media and we will be placing signs at the project sites and we will also make sure to contact local fire and rescue and emergency service providers earlier on in the process.”

Cumberland's Board of Supervisors authorized the County Administrator to send a letter questioning VDOT's notification process concerning road projects to the state's Secretary of Transportation earlier this year as a result of not being notified about the Muddy Creek Bridge project in advance.

That project's detour is approximately 30 minutes in length, according to past discussion.

“I know that two businesses in Cartersville are off one-third of their revenue because of that bridge being closed,” said Supervisor Bill Osl, District One, about the economic analysis that must be taken into consideration when bridge closures are considered. “To a small business, one-third is disastrous. They are using their savings to cover that because the business isn't there…but that doesn't get taken into account…”

Route 620 Bridge Project

VDOT is currently considering detour alternatives for the proposed Route 620 bridge project (Stone Point Road) at the Cumberland and Amelia County line.

Three possible options are being considered related to the initial scope of the project, which is to replace the bridge over the Appomattox River.

“They are just scoping it,” she said. “They are just determining what type of project they are going to be doing…Certainly, that's going to be a similar situation where if there is a detour it's going to be lengthy.”

According to Supervisor Elbert Womack, District Four, the only other places to cross the Appomattox River is either in the Tobaccoville area of Amelia or in Farmville.

“That stretch has no other cross of the Appomattox River,” he said. “So to put a bridge in there that could take tonnage would be a life saver to the people that live in that area.”

Osl advised that Ms. Huckabee-Mayfield was asking for the Board's input related to the proposed options and that the most favorable option would be one that maintains traffic on the existing bridge during construction.

This option details replacing the bridge to the east of the existing bridge and improve the curve north of the bridge to meet 30 mph design speed and traffic would be maintained on the bridge during construction. This option would also require the roadway to be relocated.

According to the option detailed in information that was provided to the Board, if Route 620 was closed during construction, the closest detour route is by way of Route 621, which would be approximately 14 miles.

“These are things, since we represent the citizens, that we need to know prior to things taking place,” said Womack.

This project, according to Ms. Huckabee-Mayfield is being operated out of the Richmond District office.

In Other VDOT News

The request for a tractor sign was recommended for Route 633 (Vogel Road) and it was recommended that a “slow moving farm vehicle” sign with supplemental plaque be installed in the northbound area and at the intersection of Route 45 and in the southbound area and at the intersection of Route 60, according to Ms. Huckabee-Mayfield.

A request for a warning sign to notify traffic of the Cartersville Volunteer Fire Department was also received and will be placed in that area, she added.

She later noted that the Secondary Six-Year Plan balances are currently being updated.

Cumberland's request includes Blenheim Road, Route 606, and Miller Lane-each as a rural rustic project.

The Blenheim project's preliminary cost is $480,000, she said, and Miller Lane's preliminary cost is $515,000.

But on Miller Lane a construction project would have to be established due to the number of issues on this road.

Cumberland's funding this year will be increased by $32,261 in Telefee funds, she explained.

Chairman Van Petty, District Three, explained that Bonbrook Creek Road is continuing to “break up” since it was built in the recent past.

“I sent a message,” he said about the condition of the road.

Ms. Huckabee-Mayfield noted that she would look into the status of that road and the needed improvements.

Petty also noted that in the area of Stoney Point Road the limbs were trimmed in the direction towards Amelia County and then in the direction of Farmville but that he had received complaints about the roads being neglected in the area of the courthouse.

“If they could do something to finish that out…and all the way back to the courthouse that would make the road look a whole lot nicer and it would be safer,” he said. “The road is not that wide and there are no lines and people have to get over…It would be really good if they could finish the road…”