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Spotsy VRE station still on track
Local officials say they are on track to have VRE station in Spotsylvania by February 2012

 A consultant will recommend a site for the Spotsy depot.
FILE/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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Date published: 10/25/2010

By DAN TELVOCK

Spotsylvania officials expect to receive a consultant's report tomorrow night that will suggest the best location for the county's Virginia Railway Express station.

Spotsylvania County joined the regional commuter rail system on Feb. 15, and the agreement states the station should be finished by February 2012.

VRE and county officials have long eyed the Crossroads Industrial Park off the U.S. 17 Bypass as the best location for a VRE station because it is near the system's train maintenance facility.

About 800 to 1,000 Spotsylvania residents ride the VRE to points north. They board the train in Fredericksburg and Stafford, which was one of the key reasons a split Board of Supervisors finally voted last year to join the rail service after almost two decades.

VRE is paying for the extension of a third set of tracks there--a project that could take several years to fund--and the county will pay for the land, a parking lot, station canopy improvements and improving access to the station.

VRE spokesman Mark Roeber said the design work for the third set of tracks is funded and the final design will be done soon. He said VRE is still trying to secure money for the actual construction phase.

"If everything goes without any problems--environmental or structural--then this could be completed in eight months," he said. "Were we to encounter issues that needed more detailed resolution, then it could push the time frame out to 12 to 18 months for completion of the final design."

Becky Golden, Spotsylvania's director of capital projects, said the preliminary estimate of the county portion of the project is about $6 million--far less than the $12.9 million that was included in the county's 2005 transportation bond referendum for a VRE station.

Golden said the county has not borrowed those funds yet, and it may not have to.


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