Residents Give Input on Fall Hill, Mary Washington Project

A Nov. 26 public hearing launches 15-day comment period. Comments will be accepted through Dec. 11.

City of Fredericksburg and Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) representatives are seeking input on planned improvements to Fall Hill Avenue and Mary Washington Boulevard.

The $45 million, two-mile project will:

  • Increase capacity on Fall Hill Ave. by widening it to four lanes.
  • Provide pedestrian facilities between residential and commercial areas.
  • Replace the 45-year-old bridge over I-95.
  • Extend Mary Washington Blvd. between Rt. 1 and Fall Hill Ave.  This will also improve access to Mary Washington Hospital.

"The project has been in the city's transportation plan for a number of decades," said Doug Fawcett, Fredericksburg's Director of Public Works.  He said Gov. McDonnell's 2010 transportation initiative provided funding to finally begin.

"When the list of projects was released, there was $35.8 million for this project," Fawcett said. "Some other funding has subsequently been identified, and we are still working to close an approximately $2 million “gap” between available funds and the current project cost estimate."

Officials held a public hearing and presentation Monday night at James Monroe High School concerning this project and others, but most of the few residents who attended had comments for other projects.

Project plans are sensitive to adjacent historic properties. A roundabout is proposed for the new intersection of Fall Hill Ave. and Mary Washington Blvd. "[It] was chosen for its traffic handling capacity combined with its limited impact to historically sensitive properties," says the project description.

The historically sensitive properties are primarily the Fall Hill Mansion and surrounding property, located on the north side of Fall Hill Avenue as you approach the top of the hill travelling west from the canal, according to Fawcett.

Project information, including a hearing summary, are available for review at:

  • City of Fredericksburg City Hall, 715 Princess Anne Street
  • VDOT's Fredericksburg District Office, 87 Deacon Road

Information received during the public hearing and public comment period will be presented to VDOT's chief engineer.  If the major design features are approved, the project will move forward into the design-build phase.

Fawcett said the anticipated schedule is very tentative, with construction expected to take place in 2014 through 2015.

Comments may be submitted to Director of Public Works Doug Fawcett by:

  • email to dfawcett@fredericksburgva.gov  Please put "Project Comments" in the subject line and email by 11:59 p.m. December 11.
  • U.S. Mail to Doug Fawcett, Director of Public Works, P.O. Box 7447, Fredericksburg, Va. 22404-7447.  Mail must be postmarked by December 11, 2012.


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