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Edmunds Boulevard one-way traffic closer to reality / February 01, 2018

Halifax County supervisors are expected to approve a one-way traffic pattern on Edmunds Boulevard in Halifax following a meeting Tuesday with VDOT and Town of Halifax representatives to discuss the change, all part of the Courthouse Renovation Project.

While the switch away from two-way traffic on Edmunds could happen quickly, the courthouse renovation itself will be delayed, due to the extra time needed to finish interim court facilities to serve in place of the historic but tattered building.

County Administrator Jim Halasz said Wednesday that the delay will push the start of construction work off to March, most likely. County officials had hoped to begin the courthouse renovations soon after the first of the year.

The meeting Tuesday with VDOT included Town of Halifax officials and citizens and property owners on Edmunds Boulevard. With the expansion and other changes planned to the courthouse complex, the county has determined that Edmunds should be rerouted to make traffic flow in one direction only.

The street, which leads to the Blue Ridge Regional Jail, will take incoming traffic from Main Street, with motorists exiting at the intersection with Mountain Road (Route 360).

Halasz said he expects Supervisors to approve the new traffic pattern at the Feb. 5 regular monthly meeting.

Supervisors held a public hearing on the proposed change at their January meeting, but they delayed taking action until affected property owners could be apprised of the plans. Halasz said the meeting with VDOT should settle that matter. He added that along with the new traffic flow, other changes are in the works for Edmunds Boulevard — including sidewalks on both sides of the street, as well as curb and gutters fronting properties along the street.

As for the interim court facilities, those have not yet been completed. While construction at the courthouse square is underway, the works of the courts will take place inside temporary quarters at the Bethune Office Complex annex, which once served as the Mary Bethune school industrial arts building.

Halasz said the delay was the result of Dominion Energy falling behind schedule in extending power out to the Annex building. The delay hampered subcontractors, leaving them unable to lay tile in several areas or complete dry wall work.

Halasz also cautioned that the county will have to be very careful in making sure the courts’ technology systems are fully operational and court employees can access all necessary records.

Halasz emphasized, “this is a big move.” Realistically, he said, it will likely be March before the full court system can be relocated, thus delaying the start of construction at the courthouse square.

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