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Culpeper looking to fund road work
Culpeper looks for ways to fund more road projects.

Date published: 9/12/2012

BY DONNIE JOHNSTON

Some Culpeper County officials are getting tired of waiting for the Virginia Department of Transportation to upgrade secondary roads.

With the Outer Loop highway now fully funded, the Board of Supervisors' Rules Committee yesterday voted to recommend that the county use VDOT revenue-sharing funds to help improve its secondary road system.

The committee will ask the full board to apply for $1 million in revenue-sharing funds for fiscal 2014 and use the $2 million total to pave parts of State Routes 751 and 681.

"If we wait for the state, I don't think we'll ever get it done," Supervisor Sue Hansohn said.

Currently, Culpeper is receiving only $120,000 annually for secondary road construction.

County Administrator Frank Bossio proposed an even more ambitious plan, which the full board may consider.

With interest rates at historic lows and the county's bond rating at an all-time high, Bossio's suggests that Culpeper borrow $10 million and apply for VDOT's maximum annual revenue-sharing amount. That would provide a total of $20 million to complete several secondary road projects.

"The question is: Do we take a bigger bite out of the apple now or piecemeal the job?" Bossio asked.

It is estimated that work on Routes 751 and 681 will cost $829,000. If the county is granted $1 million ($2 million total) in fiscal 2014, it would have some funds left over for other projects.

With $20 million, however, the county could complete most of the projects in its six-year road plan.

County Planner John Egerston told the board that the estimated cost of the Outer Loop, which will connect Ira Hoffman Lane and the Sperryville Pike, is about $14.9 million. He added that the county, by saving revenue-sharing funds for almost a decade, now has $16.1 million set aside.

Egerston said that the state will begin buying right of way in January, with construction expected to begin early in 2014.

Donnie Johnston:
Email: djohnston@freelancestar.com