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Culpeper council approves roundabouts on Inner Loop
Date published: 9/13/2012
If there is anyone in Culpeper who is in favor of the Inner Loop road and its two roundabouts besides the eight town councilmen and Mayor Chip Coleman, he or she hasn't been heard from yet.
Still, the council voted unanimously Tuesday night to proceed with the construction of the $10 million project.
Every speaker except one who came to the podium during a public hearing on the controversial project was against the short expanse of highway that will link North Main Street at the Wendy's restaurant with the Sperryville Pike at Virginia Avenue.
The lone speaker who did not come out against the proposed road was Allen Tuel, whose house on the Sperryville Pike will be demolished during construction. Tuel said he just wants the town to do something, adding that he has been held in a municipal purgatory for more than a decade.
"We need to get going on this," Tuel said. "You've put me in a bind for years. If I need to build another house I need to get started."
While not commenting on the road itself, Tuel, a 40-year Virginia Department of Transportation employee, was against the roundabouts, which will be little more than 200 yards apart.
"I've been building roads for 40 years, and [roundabouts] don't work except in subdivisions," he said.
Several other property owners along the proposed route echoed the same sentiment regarding the traffic-calming devices.
Attorney Butch Davies, representing affected businesses on North Main Street, told the council that the Main Street roundabout and its concrete barrier will cause "extreme hardship" for the Wendy's, Pizza Hut and McDonald's restaurants.
Richard Dwyer said that the right of way will adversely affect his property in several ways, especially its value.
"You are running the road over the most valuable parcel," he said, adding that about all he will have left for a planned subdivision is flood plain.
Public Works Director Jim Hoy told the council that right of way acquisition should begin within the next 60 days.