Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Supervisors Discuss Roads

A crowd turned out to talk about roads when the Botetourt County Board of Supervisors met in a lengthy session on May 26.

Residents from Arch Mill Road, which is a gravel road, asked that their road be placed on the county's six year plan for the secondary highway system. The hope was that such a move would allow the road to receive Rural Rustic Road funding.

The state has no money for gravel road improvements, County Administrator Jerry Burgess told the supervisors prior to the public hearing.

Buchanan District Supervisor Terry Austin urged Virginia Department of Transportation officials to review procedures. "We need to revisit how we do things," Austin said. He believes roads are held to too high a standard and that a little tar and gravel could go a long way to improving some road situations in the county.

A proposed bypass around the Town of Fincastle nearly was knocked from the plan. Supervisor Chairman Don Assaid suggested that funding already set aside for that project should be moved elsewhere. "It will be 40 years before that road is built," the Valley District representative said.

In the end the supervisors voted to move the plan along as presented and without changes. Burgess suggested that the supervisors review all of the roads on various lists the county has created in order to get a better feel for transportation needs.

The six year secondary highway system plan will be revisited again in the fall, Burgess said.

--- Submitted by A. J. Firebaugh

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