GATE CITY — For the first time in several years, Scott County has some positive news to point to when it comes to improving its roughly 377 miles of unpaved secondary roads.
After receiving little in the way of funding for paving over the past several years, the Scott County Board of Supervisors adopted a Six-Year Road Plan last week that contains approximately $1.6 million in funding to address two roadways between now and Fiscal Year 2019.
“This six-year plan is a big deal,” Scott County BOS Chairman Danny Mann said. “A lot of people are concerned about it and I think we have a good plan in place to start getting some of these things done.”
Scott County was only allocated a little over $90,000 from the Virginia Department of Transportation for the current year to make road improvements and last received any funding for unpaved secondary roads in FY 2009.
The money for the two routes contained in the recently passed plan comes from Commonwealth Transportation Road funds set aside by Gov. Bob McDonnell specifically for paving gravel roads.
“The governor, through the Commonwealth Transportation Board, allocated some funds to upgrade some gravel roads that have a certain traffic count on them,” Scott County Administrator Kathie Noe said. “Those roads had to already be on the six-year plan, so they went and evaluated some that we had on there, and we had two that qualified for that.”
One of the roads — Browder’s Chapel Road in East Carters Valley — qualified for the CTB funding because its traffic count is over 200 vehicles per day, Noe said.
Sloantown Road in the Fairview community, which is the second unpaved road on the plan, was selected due to its 50-vehicle-per-day traffic count.
The only downside to the six-year plan is that the money to pave the roads won’t begin arriving immediately. Instead, the county will have to wait until FY 2015 until it actually receives the funding.
In addition to the CTB funds, the county will also see regular secondary unpaved road funds from VDOT return in 2017 with an initial allocation of $132,125. By FY 2019, VDOT will have allocated a total of $490,722 for secondary unpaved roads.
The six-year road plan also calls for $569,157 in state funds to be allocated over a three-year period that also begins in FY 2017.
In addition to those routes, the six-year plan also contains $2.8 million in federal transportation funds between now and FY 2019 to finish work on Yuma Road, as well as $6.1 million to reconstruct and pave Carters Valley Road and $953,930 to pave Hunters Valley Road.
Goode Hollow Road will also receive $437,608 under VDOT’s Rural Rustic Roads program for improvements. The Big Moccasin Road bridge replacement was also on the plan and is scheduled to begin construction in the coming months.
In addition to passing a roads plan, the board also voted to keep a list of 34 unpaved roads intact that had been removed from the county’s plan several years ago by VDOT.
“We had 34 on the six-year plan at one point and several years ago the board said they want all of this kept like it is, and as we have roads go off the six-year plan, we want to have roads from this list go on in order,” Noe said. “So, the board took action to keep all 34 roads in order and add them to the six-year plan in order.”