Feds Step In to Improve Culvert on Heavily Traveled Industrial Road in Dumfries
– November 27, 2013 10:24 am
DUMFRIES, Va. – Working with federal representatives, Dumfries has secured funds to help with improvements at Quantico Creek.
Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Fairfax, Prince William) announced $330,750 in federal disaster recovery aid has been awarded to improve a culvert that allows Quantico Creek to flow under the 2-lane Possum Point Road. The culvert, which an official says appears to be sinking slowly into the water, will be realigned and the area around it cleared of excessive sediment that has collected there over the years.
“The federal government is going to great lengths to repair damage and take preventative measures along the East Coast, including Virginia, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. A critical part of that recovery process is identifying safety and infrastructure improvements that will prevent future tragedies and loss of life. The culvert improvement will be an additional line of defense against the type of damaging and sometimes deadly flooding that can be caused by large storms,” stated Connolly in a press release.
Officials maintain the improvements will also protect the area from the flooding of nearby homes, and prevent workers at an asphalt plant at the end of Possum Point Road from becoming stranded in a storm.
Possum Point Road for years has been a thoroughfare for large trucks traveling to and from the asphalt plant. Dumfries Mayor Jerry Foreman said this new money is a step forward for the town, and one of many new grant funding opportunities town officials are pursing to improve infrastructure.
“If you stand on that bridge you can see it sinking a little bit, and if you look on each side of it you are going to see the sand on each side, because the sand is coming down from Prince William County and there is nothing stopping it,” said Foreman, whose long pointed to home construction on nearby Van Buren Road as the root cause of sediment filling Quantico Creek.
A new bridge is ultimately needed where Possum Point Road crosses Quantico Creek so that asphalt trucks traveling to and from the concrete plant can use the road safely. The plant’s owner, Nu-Star, is looking to partner with Eco-Energy to build an ethanol facility at the site of the asphalt plant. Progress on the ethanol plant has stalled the at the county government level.
Foreman said the number of trucks traveling in and out of the asphalt plant has increased over the past few weeks. The company that operates the plant said it was due to problems at another company terminal in Maryland.
“Apparently there was a failure with the hot oil system at our Baltimore terminal and we couldn’t heat the lines that move asphalt to the truck rack. To make up for any shortfall, they loaded asphalt at the Dumfries terminal and shipped the product via truck to the Baltimore market. This caused an increase of 15-20 more trucks than usual being loaded in Dumfries over the weekend,” stated Nu Star spokeswoman Mary Rose Brown in an email. “We understand the issue in Baltimore has been resolved and operations have resumed.”
The federal funds to improve the culvert come from a total of $162 million allocated for improvements to communities along the Atlantic seaboard said to be vulnerable to storms, such as 2012’s Super Storm Sandy. The U.S. Department of the Interior has provided $480 million in funds for safety improvements to infrastructure, and stabilizing natural areas that act like a buffer to protect against storm surges and flooding, stated Connolly.