Bermuda news: January 2017, filling in the dots
The state of Bermuda District
By Dorothy Jaeckle, Bermuda Supervisor
Happy New Year to all our citizens! It is hard to believe it has been over a year since we rang in 2016. A lot has happened in Chesterfield in the past year. We brought on the two new faces of Dr. Joseph Casey as the County Administrator and Dr. James Lane as the School Superintendent, and the Board of Supervisors is looking forward to a successful 2017.
The three top roles of local government are public safety, education, and public infrastructure. Recently I have received many positive comments about the various road projects that have been built over the past few years. I thought I would take this opportunity to bring citizens up to date on recent and future infrastructure improvements around the Bermuda District.
During my first years on the board many citizens came to me requesting that the Bermuda District become more pedestrian friendly. Since the Bermuda District is one of the older areas of the county, the original development requirements for sidewalks was nonexistent. Roads such as Ecoff Avenue, Old Centralia, Centralia, Harrowgate and Bermuda Orchard all have individual neighborhoods off of them, but those neighborhoods aren’t connected. In addition, although the county has recently required developers to install sidewalks, when the county itself did road projects, there was no requirement for the county to install sidewalks.We changed our board policy and unless it is not feasible, it is assumed that our road projects will include sidewalks.
Sometimes I receive a comment or a phone call from a citizen asking, why did they just put one block of sidewalk on the Jefferson Davis Highway or Harrowgate Road? In the world of transportation
projects, there is little possibility of getting funding for a complete sidewalk of extended distance on an already-constructed road. I have worked with our transportation department to submit as many critical projects as we believe we can get funding for. Our transportation department has done a very good job piecing together various funding streams and grants to complete millions of dollars in improvements projects on those in the Bermuda District over the past five years.
For one of those, we used Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)funds to construct a sidewalk along Harrowgate Road from the Broadwater Townhomes to Cougar Trail. For another project the county and state (VDOT) combined to fund improvements to Route 10 through Chester, including new and enhanced crosswalks, pedestrian signals, and new pavement. As part of that paving project, a “road diet” was performed along Route 10 to provide improved facilities for bicyclists in the Chester area. In other cases, the county took full advantage of the state’s revenue sharing program, which matches county funds dollar for dollar, to construct sidewalks along Osborne Road, Old Centralia Road, and Harrowgate Road.
Several other Bermuda projects are currently underway and nearing completion. We are using federal funds to improve and signalize the intersection of Route 1 and Old Bermuda Hundred Road, including significant sidewalk improvements along Route 1. Likewise, the project to replace the bridge on Route 1 over the railroad tracks just north of Bellwood Road includes sidewalk to accommodate pedestrians. The county also obtained federal Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety funds to provide a sidewalk along Route 1 between the Bermuda Run Apartments and the shopping center at Happy Hill Road. Construction of this project is nearly complete.
In terms of upcoming work, we will use Federal Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) funding to construct additional sidewalks along Harrowgate Road from Curtis Street to Hyde Park, with construction anticipated late this year. We have also planned a sidewalk along Ecoff Avenue from Ken Drive to Ivywood Road as part of a larger project to improve safety along that corridor, particularly in front of the elementary school. Construction of those improvements should be underway in 2019. The county also has plans to widen Route 10, including a sidewalk, between Route 1 and I-95. This project should be under construction in 2018. The county and schools are work