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Construction begins to widen Courthouse Road to four lanes

From Virginia Department of Transportation:

Construction begins Monday, July 10 on a $35.9 million project to widen Route 630 (Courthouse Road) in Stafford County to four lanes west of Interstate 95 between Ramoth Church Road and Cedar Lane.

The project’s goal is to accommodate current and future traffic volumes by adding additional travel lanes. A paved 10 foot shared use path for pedestrians and bicyclists will be built along the project’s length.

New traffic signals will be added at two intersections to improve operations. A traffic signal will be activated at the entrance to Colonial Forge High School in 2017. At the end of construction in December 2019, a traffic signal will be activated at Ramoth Church Road and Winding Creek Road, which will be realigned to intersect. (more…)

News
Rezoning clears way for new homes next to Stafford airport

STAFFORD — A rezoning that passed the Stafford County Board of Supervisors this week clears the way for new homes next to the county’s airport.

Officials approved a rezoning for 170 new homes on about 100 acres of agricultural land off Centreport Parkway, north of the intersection of Mountian View Road. Now called Sycamore Grove, the development dates back to 2013 when it was called Okenwold Farm.

Officials back then denied developer IVI Strategies, which also developed Caton’s Ridge in Prince William County, a rezoning as the company vied to build 105 homes on all 213 acres of property in the same area. Now, the new plan includes a mix of 170 homes and 150,000 square feet of commercial space.

The Stafford Planning Commission denied approval for Sycamore Grove before it the rezoning application went to the Board of Supervisors. The developer by-right had the option of developing up to 105 homes on the property with or without county approval.

“We’re going to have 105 homes on the property whether we like it or not,” said Hartwood District Supervisor Gary Snellings, who supported the rezoning. (more…)

Traffic
Drivers bound for Central Park should expect dedicated lane

From a press release: 

Construction started to improve safety on Interstate 95 and Route 3 at the Exit 130 interchange in the city of Fredericksburg.  

Motorists should be alert for construction workers, equipment, concrete barriers and orange barrels over the next 18 months.                                                                

After reviewing the I-95 corridor, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) determined the Route 3 interchange in Fredericksburg had a crash rate above the statewide average. This project will reduce vehicle merging and weaving that can lead to crashes, injuries and congestion on Route 3 and I-95. These improvements are designed to lower the crash risk by eliminating conflict points where vehicles currently merge.

Motorists should be prepared for lane closures, construction activity, and temporary traffic shifts  on Route 3 and I-95 at Exit 130 through January 2019.

Travel lanes will remain open at peak times on weekday mornings and afternoons, but midday and overnight lane closures will be needed periodically throughout the project.

The project is being funded with federal Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) funds. In February 2017, the Commonwealth Transportation Board awarded a $18.2 million design-build contract for the project to Branch Civil, Inc., of Manassas.

Project Improvements

Later this year, drivers traveling to Carl D. Silver Parkway from Interstate 95 southbound will be able to use a separated free-flow lane which will directly lead to the Central Park entrance.

The Interstate 95 southbound exit ramp will be extended and widened to hold additional traffic. Exiting southbound traffic traveling to Route 3 westbound will use triple right turn lanes at the end of the ramp. These lanes would make a slight right turn onto Route 3, controlled by a new traffic signal.

On Route 3 eastbound, traffic will access I-95 northbound using three left turn lanes controlled by a new traffic signal. The existing on-ramp will be closed at the end of the project.

News
Three released from hospital after Stafford crash involving deputy, charges filed

More information on the car crash in Stafford involving three vehicles and a county sheriff’s deputy, from Stafford sheriff’s spokesman Eric Quinn:

The Stafford Sheriff’s Office has charged George Lee Murdock, age 57 of Stafford with Reckless Driving and Failure to Yield to an Emergency Vehicle.  The charges stem from yesterday’s three vehicle accident on Rt. 1 involving a county sheriff’s cruiser.

At 10:46am yesterday, Thursday, July 6, 2017 Deputy R. T. Kulbeth was responding to an emergency call with his blue lights and siren activated.  Kulbeth was driving a marked Stafford Sheriff’s Office Ford Taurus. He was travelling south on Rt. 1 near Stafford Hospital when a Ford Van driven by Murdock made a u-turn directly in front of Kulbeth’ s cruiser.  

The two vehicles collided sending Kulbeth’s cruiser into a power pole and overturning.  The power pole broke in half causing the power lines to drop across Rt. 1.  Murdock’s van spun around and turned onto its side.  The impact caused the front axle and passenger side tire of Murdock’s van to dislodge from the vehicle, go airborne and crash through the windshield of a third vehicle.

The drivers of all three vehicles were transported to local hospitals where they were treated and released.  A passenger in the third vehicle was uninjured.

 

 



MyLink – ‘There is no way I would have been as successful in my academics, job, or even in my athletics’ without it

Teens who are striving for independence but lack a driver’s license or access to a vehicle need the MyLink Teen Summer Bus Pass! With the pass, teens can travel around the Prince William County area without relying on their parents for a ride!

Here’s a MyLink teen testimonial:

“I have used [a MyLink pass] for the past several years, and there is no way I would have been as successful in my academics, job, or even in my athletics” without it, one teen told PRTC in 2016. “My dedication to the various aspects of my busy lifestyle has undoubtedly been made possible thanks to the Teen Summer Pass.”

Now in its 10th year, the MyLink program is offered by the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC). The pass enables those ages 13-19 to get unlimited local bus rides all summer long for $30. In addition, teens who use a MyLink pass get credit for the local fare when traveling on PRTC buses to nearby Metro stations and destinations including Washington, D.C.

In a 2016 survey, 69% of teens who used a MyLink pass last summer said they bought it because they didn’t have a driver’s license. Half said they used their pass to spend time with friends and get to summer school or other school-related activities.

MyLink passes are loaded onto SmarTrip cards, making it easy for teens to transfer to Metro trains or other regional transit providers. If the teen doesn’t already have a SmarTrip card, there is an additional $2 fee to purchase one.

PRTC’s one-way local fare is $1.55. At that rate, a teen who takes more than 10 local round-trips over the summer will save money with a MyLink pass. The pass is valid through Saturday, September 2, 2017. (more…)

News
Stafford deputy, two others injured in Route 1 crash

A Stafford sheriff’s deputy and two others were taken to a hospital after being involved in a crash that closed a portion of Route 1 today. 

From a Stafford sheriff’s press release: 

The Stafford Sheriff’s Office reports that on Thursday, July 6, 2017 at approximately 10:45am an auto accident occurred in the area of Rt. 1 and Clarke Hill Road. The accident involved three vehicles to include a marked Stafford Sheriff’s Office cruiser. At least one vehicle involved in the accident struck a power pole resulting in power lines being downed across Rt. 1.

Three injuries were reported, one from each vehicle involved. All three of the injured were transported to area hospitals with non-life threatening injuries.

Rt. 1 between Hospital Center Boulevard and Courthouse Road was closed for several hours while the accident was under investigation and Dominion Virginia Power worked to repair the damaged power lines.

All lanes of Rt. 1 have since been reopened. The accident remains under investigation.

News
Teens build wheelchair ramp for homebound Stafford man

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From an email: 

WorkCamp was a success.  In just four days, more than 800 teenagers repaired 104 homes in nine northern and central Virginia counties.  The teens replaced windows, gutters, doors, and roofs. They also painted, built wheelchair ramps, decks, and renovated bathrooms. 

The Catholic Diocese of Arlington’s Youth Ministry Director, Kevin Bohli, found out about the homes after contacting Social Services in each county. 

Among those counties was Stafford, where teenagers worked on 29 homes including that of Kevin Curtis.  Kevin has been trapped inside his home for 14 years after a horrific accident in 2003. 

Wheelchair bound, the only way he can leave is if his sons literally lift him out of the chair and place him in the car.  This week the teenagers built him a ramp.

Photos: Natalie J. Plumb

 

Traffic
Flood warning continues after rain-soaked morning of traffic problems

Flooded roadways have been a problem in Prince William County today. 

While they’ve cleared the scenes, police were called to direct traffic around flooded roads at the intersections of Route 1 and Mary’s Way in Woodbridge and Route 29 and Sudley Road near Manassas.

Conditions have improved over the past several hours. 

From Prince William police spokesman Jonathan Peork: 

No road is under active police direction. There are a few closures with high water but that’s it. Signs and cones are in place. Here’s a map.

Authorities in Stafford County were also working a crash on Route 1 near the Stafford County Courthouse. 

From VDOT: 

All lanes of Route 1 are closed between Hospital Center Boulevard and Courthouse Road in Stafford County for a crash involving downed utility lines.

Travelers are advised to use Interstate 95 and other alternate routes.

Heavy rain moved through the region during the early morning hours leading to multiple crashes on Interstate 95. At 7 a.m., one of the crashes on I-95 involved serious injury. 

From Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corine Geller:  (more…)

News
Stafford to enter tax break negotiations with Harris Teeter

STAFFORD — The stalled revitalization of Aquia Town Center is the biggest failure of Paul Milde’s political career.

For more than 10 years the once bustling shopping center at the corner of Route 1 and Garrisonville Road in North Stafford has been nothing more than an empty field. The last of the buildings in the strip center, excluding a Rite Aid pharmacy, are demolished.

“When I ran for office I promised to fix it, and I couldn’t have done a more miserable job,” Milde said Wednesday.

Now the Chairman of the Stafford County Board of Supervisors, preparing to leave office in December after 12 years representing the Aquia District, Milde is making a last-ditch effort to kickstart the redevelopment project — again.

County leaders voted 5-2 Wednesday to allow County Executive Thomas Foley to begin negotiations with the current owners of Aquia Town Center, Mosiac Realty Partners. The developers asked for $18.3 million in tax incentives over 20 years, on top of the $6 million in tax breaks already awarded to jumpstart development and lure a grocery store to the center.

Eron Sodie, of Mosaic, says a 67,000 square-foot grocery is what’s needed to anchor the shopping center, and attract other businesses. Harris Teeter, its parent company Kroger, is the only grocer that has shown interest in the site, he adds. (more…)

News
Sheriff’s office searching for North Stafford shooter

From a press release: 

The Stafford Sheriff’s Office is investigating the overnight shooting of a man in the Garrison Woods neighborhood.

On Wednesday, July 5, 2017 at approximately 1:30am, Stafford Deputies were dispatched to the 200 block of Garrison Woods Drive in reference to a shooting of a person. Deputies arrived on scene to find a

25-year-old male suffering from a gunshot wound. The victim was transported to an area hospital. His condition is unknown at this time. No arrest has been made and the identity of the suspect is unknown. Detectives are actively investigating the incident.

Anyone with information related to this shooting is asked to contact the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office at 540-658-4400, Stafford Crime Solvers at 540-659-2020 (where callers may remain anonymous) or TEXT “Stafford” + your tip to CRIMES (27463).