VDOT News - Staunton
Sandy Myers 540-332-9201
Ken Slack 540-332-9264
Jan. 29, 2020
VDOT TO CONDUCT TRANSPORTATION ALTERNATIVE STUDY FOR SEVEN BENDS STATE PARK
STAUNTON – Public comment is being sought concerning access options to Seven Bends State Park in Shenandoah County. The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Virginia Department of Transportation are examining solutions through a VDOT transportation alternative study, which provides technical transportation support to DCR. The study will provide access alternatives for DCR’s Seven Bends State Park master plan through proposed intermediate and long term options.
Existing and forecasted traffic data is one part of a road capacity and safety analysis. Stakeholder input will occur through a series of workshops and surveys. Refining the alternatives will be ongoing as input is received. A high-level environmental impact assessment is part of this work and will be documented. The study will produce up to three alignments and/or access options, planning level cost estimates and supporting documentation.
The study also includes park life-safety support by identifying access for non-motorized entry and exit options that takes into account any bridge weight restrictions.
Seven Bends State Park has two access points. To the north is Lupton Road with no bridge weight restrictions and to the south is Hollingsworth Road, which includes a bridge with a 10-ton vehicle weight restriction. In 2008 the park’s master plan included a proposed future connector road within the park to join Lupton Road and Hollingsworth Road. The proposed connection road was eliminated from the 2017 revised master plan due to steep slopes, natural heritage assets, important natural habitat and ecosystem diversity located along the proposed roadway path. Visitors currently travel approximately eight miles round-trip to go from one side of the park to the other.
Study related public meetings will begin in early spring 2020 but individuals can currently comment through an on-line survey. The survey link is on the projects and studies portion of the VDOT website under “Shenandoah County – Seven Bends State Park Study”.
“We want to provide an early opportunity for the public to share issues and ideas that they’d like us to explore as we work through the plan development”, said Terry Short, Jr., VDOT Staunton District Planning Manager, who is serving as the study project manager.
Short says, “A robust community dialog can help provide meaningful and thoughtful access to Seven Bends State Park assets. No one knows their local roads better than the neighbors and community members that use them every day.”
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