Stafford County and the Virginia Department of Transportation are partnering to find an interim solution to the Brooke Road access issues being experienced by residents and Aquia Landing park patrons due to flooding. The interim plans involve an estimated $1.5 million to construct improvements, including an 800-foot-long, two-lane emergency access drive between Windermere Drive and Crestwood Lane. The access drive will provide through-travel for local traffic and residents when Brooke road is closed to traffic during emergencies. A section of Brooke Road, known as the “S curves,” floods, leaving residents beyond stranded. The temporary road could be completed as early as 2022 if an agreement is reached with the residents of those roads.
“The safety of the Brooke Road residents is our number one priority, and this temporary solution will provide the quickest relief we can for them,” said Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Crystal Vanuch, Rock Hill District. “I appreciate the efforts of all involved, particularly Supervisor Cindy Shelton, and commend VDOT for their contributions to solve the problem.”
The design and construction of a road is a multi-step process, particularly for the government. The steps involved include government authority approval, procurement of a contract, engineering studies, design, right-of-way acquisition and several more steps. A detailed description of the process may be found at https://www.virginiadot.org/projects/pr-howroadblt.asp. For a typical road constructed in Virginia, that process can take five to seven years. Stafford recognizes the seriousness of the issue and is committed to completing the process as quickly as practical.
The timeline for a temporary road is considerably less. Stafford and VDOT officials envision a construction start date for the emergency access road in the summer or fall of 2022, with a completion date of winter 2022/2023. The access road would be a gravel road that will allow two-way traffic to pass through. VDOT would reimburse the County for construction costs for the temporary road once it is in service. The County will be responsible for all other costs associated with the project. Stafford County plans to spend approximately $450,000 on improvements to Windermere to support any additional emergency access traffic. The County will be responsible for continued maintenance of the road and control access to the road during emergencies.
“I have been working on fixing Brooke Road for several years and appreciate the grassroots involvement of the Brooke Road residents in working together to solve this problem both for the short-term and the long-term,” said Vice-Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Cindy Shelton, Aquia District. “Their advocacy has gained the attention this issue deserves and the support we need both from VDOT and the Board of Supervisors to find a permanent fix.”
The permanent fix will involve the realignment and elevation of Route 608 (Brooke Road) between the intersections of Route 609 (Raven Road) and Route 2107 (Maplewood Drive) for a length of approximately 0.45 miles. As a major road project, several mechanisms have to be established to include feasibility, planning, funding, design, bidding, construction and final operation. At this time, the cost is estimated to be $7.5 million. The design could begin as early as fall/winter 2021, with a completion date five to seven years later.
Stafford County has created a comprehensive webpage on its website with detailed information on both road efforts. For more information, visit https://staffordcountyva.gov/brookeroad.