Panel recommends OK of local design funding

Posted: August 27, 2013

The Winchester Star

WINCHESTER — Designs for transportation infrastructure on the Russell 150 property could soon receive more than $470,000 in funding from Frederick County.

The 150 acres are located between Interstate 81 and Front Royal Pike (U.S. 522), across from Airport Road. Initial design work would be for a bridge over I-81 and a road connecting Front Royal Pike to Tevis Street in Winchester, according to county Transportation Committee Chairman Charles S. DeHaven Jr.

A new office building for the Frederick County government offices is being proposed to be built on Russell 150, but the exact location for the property has not been specified.

The committee voted 3-0 to recommended approval of funding to the Board of Supervisors during a Monday morning meeting. The $470,733.50 would come from the county’s transportation reserve fund, which is a part of the overall general fund, according to DeHaven.

When the Commonwealth Transportation Board approved a $154,429,914 statewide revenue-sharing program on June 19, $2.8 million in transportation infrastructure funding was included for the Russell 150 property. The funds — which would include a match from the developer — will become available when and if a project is ready to go.

The supervisors created the transportation reserve fund several years ago and it has grown over time, DeHaven said after the meeting.

“We’ve used it before, and most of the time [we’ve] been able to replenish it,” he said. “The goal would be to leverage all the money we spend toward transportation. The revenue-sharing process is just a wonderful opportunity to do that.”

If the Board of Supervisors approves the funding, DeHaven said, he believes the county would move “immediately” to secure a contractor for the design work.”

John Bishop, the county’s deputy director of transportation, said after the meeting that the stretch of road between Front Royal Pike and I-81 will be about two-tenths of a mile.

Attending the meeting in the Frederick County Administration Building were Chairman Charles S. DeHaven Jr. and members Gene Fisher and James Racey II. Member Christopher Collins was absent.

— Contact Matt Armstrong at marmstrong@winchesterstar.com