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Streetscape work begins in Halifax

SoVaNow.com / June 29, 2020


The next phase of streetscape work in downtown Halifax will begin Tuesday, weather permitting, with construction of the Halifax Downtown Streetscape-War Memorial Enhancement Project and the Smart Scale Turning Radius Improvement Project. Construction activity is expected to be substantially complete by Sept. 18, again with the cooperation of the weather, according to Halifax Town Manager Carl Espy.

The work will involve installation of ADA-compliant sidewalks and crosswalks, landscape areas and decorative streetlights around the Halifax County War Memorial and Maple Avenue Parking Lot in addition to the installation of a crosswalk at Church Street and North Main Street (US Hwy. 501). The Halifax County Board of Supervisors approved the donation of permanent right-of-way to VDOT to accommodate the new turning radius, along with a utility easement for underground electrical conduit for decorative streetlights. None of the original War Memorial landscaping will be affected, and all pavers and other hardscape features will be restored as part of the project.

According to Eddie Ramirez with Ramirez Contracting, LLC, work will begin with setting up safety barrels, making surface cuts and demolishing concrete curbing and sidewalks on Maple Avenue along the north side of Mountain Road (VA Scenic Byway 360) and the parking lot, while coordinating the relocation of the sprinkler system at the War Memorial to keep the grass watered. The electrical contractor will begin installation of the lighting conduit in this area as well.

During construction, the number of reserved parking spaces at the Maple Avenue parking lot will be reduced. The general contractor has received an approved schedule from VDOT for construction activity phasing, and a Traffic Control Plan. At the next stage of construction for the War Memorial turning radius, to be announced, a temporary truck detour plan with special signage will be required.

According to Halifax County Building Official Otis Vaughan, additional improvements associated with the Halifax Courthouse Renovation Project will also get under way this week. Through traffic along Edmunds Boulevard will be closed during this period due to construction. Phase I construction will begin on Edmunds Boulevard from Mountain Road to the corner next to the Blue Ridge Regional Jail Authority sally port entry. Sidewalks will be demolished and replaced with new curbing, and the roadway will be milled down for new grading and pavement. This will be a lengthy process, according to Vaughan.

Once this section is completed, work will begin on Phase II, with the same process taking place on Edmunds Boulevard from Blue Ridge Lane toward the intersection with South Main Street. In addition to new sidewalks on both sides of Edmunds Boulevard from South Main Street to Mountain Road, the courthouse streetscape will also feature the installation of a new crosswalk across Mountain Road from Edmunds Boulevard to the Maple Avenue Parking Plaza behind the Halifax County War Memorial.

New street lighting on Edmunds Boulevard will match the existing downtown streetscape fixtures, and the courthouse project has extended sidewalks along Blue Ridge Lane to the off-street Blue Ridge Regional Jail Authority (BRRJA) Parking Plaza for better access to patrons of the courthouse, the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO), and Magistrate’s Office inside the BRRJA building. The project is scheduled for completion by April.

As each stage of construction gets under way, Ramirez Contracting will be providing more detailed information to the town to help with its efforts minimize disruption to Halifax businesses and citizens. Motorists, business owners, customers, patrons, visitors, and pedestrians traveling in these general areas within historic downtown Halifax should exercise caution at all times, particularly when heavy machinery is in operation.

These major capital improvements within the central business district an Town of Halifax Court House Historic District will fortify the collaborative planning work and phased implementation begun in 2001, when the County and Town of Halifax embarked in partnership on a project to improve downtown by providing an attractive, pedestrian-friendly environment.

The Halifax Downtown Master Plan was completed in 2003 to serve as a vision for the future of downtown and as a guide for phased funding, design and improvements to roadways, parking and pedestrian access for downtown businesses and public facilities, including the heritage tourism sites at the Halifax County War Memorial and Halifax Courthouse Square.



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