southeast connector 4

Brent Finnegan -- September 15th, 2006

Wednesday the Rockingham County BOS put their stamp of approval on the Southeast Connector Alternative 4 (in orange on the map). For better or worse, Alternative 4 (out of six) would cut through the countryside to connect Stone Spring Road near the city with 33 south of Boyers Road in the county. In the city, this would be met by the proposed Stone Spring Road extension, which is a separate project.

From VDOT:

This alternative would involve constructing a four-lane road with a median 16 feet wide, which would connect with the City of Harrisonburg’s proposed upgrade of Stone Spring Road. There would be no interchange with I-81. The road would have “controlled access,” that is, access only at intersecting roadways and at property entrances to be determined.

There has been a fair amount of public opposition — primarily from farmers and battlefield preservationists. But according to VDOT’s Don Komara, “Seventy-four people voted in favor of that alternative, with the No-build Alternative coming in second with 33 votes” at a public meeting held in May. And from VDOT’s website, “VDOT is required to study the project due to its inclusion in the Virginia Transportation Act of 2000, the Six Year Plan, and in response to requests from local governments and elected representatives.” (emphasis mine)

The next step is to get it approved by the Commonwealth Transportation Board, which is VDOT. Since the plan was drawn up by VDOT, it seems unlikely that they won’t approve it.

But the real question is: where would the money for this project come from? Last I heard, the state was in a transportation budget crisis.


3 Responses to “southeast connector 4”

  1. Daytonres says:

    Interesting to me that on the same night that the BOS decides that one end of the Erickson Avenue project is a worthwhile way to move traffic they also decide the other end needs further traffic flow restrictions. Sorry to see that Supervisor Kyger is willing to cater again to the folks in Belmont and the surrounding area. While residents over there put together an impressive presentation (on the Erickson restrictions) none of it addressed actual crash counts…usually a major factor whenever VDOT makes safety improvements. People forget that it was moves by Kyger that pushed the Harrisonburg School Board to take that farm to build the new high school and the residents in the county he was trying to protect still got the school built in nearly the same exact place they didn’t want it. Curious no candidate can be found to run against Kyger.
    Brent, your comments on funding are right on target. If the process had moved along at a quicker pace it would have been millions of dollars cheaper to build. For what the state/county/taxpayers will pay to build the pitiful little parts of the connector in the years to come they could have built an actual H’burg beltway way back when. Worth mentioning is the fact that I’m not advocating that a beltway should have been built.

  2. finnegan says:

    I live in the city of Harrisonburg, not county district 4 (Kyger’s district), so I don’t claim to know everthing that’s going on in your neck of the woods, but I do know that you’re not the only one who would love to see Kyger challenged and defeated.

    As far as the pace of the project goes, I don’t know how fast similar projects move in other states and cities, but VDOT is definitely going to feel the heat from state legislators soon. Democrats are blaming Republicans for the transportation budget crisis, and Republicans are shifting the blame onto VDOT.

    …Speaker of the House Bill Howell, R-Stafford, said
    “I don’t think the Democrats will deny that (the Virginia Department of Transportation) needs reformation. I don’t think the senators will deny that we need to change the whole paradigm under which the department of transportation operates. I think we can agree on some of these common areas and move forward that way…”

  3. Daytonres says:

    It’s unfortunate that transportation has again become a political football. VDOT has been “reformed” a half dozen times in the past ten years. It’s an excuse lawmakers use so that they can continue to fund the always popular “pork” and push the transportation thing off as a statewide problem bigger than they are as a singular delegate or senator. Voters should start to ask why their reps can direct millions of dollars for some projects, but can’t find ten bucks for roads.
    On Kyger…I’m not suggesting that he should be defeated, just refocus on the fact that not everyone that applies pressure is right. He’s a good guy that means well, he just doesn’t do well.

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