County Takes Lead On Study Of Waterford Wires, Traffic

Margaret Morton

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Aug 23, 2002 -- A long-standing project to bury the wires and slow traffic in the small, historic village appears to have finally gotten off the ground at least partially.

At a community meeting held at the Waterford Old School last week, citizens heard the news that the Loudoun County government will become the project manager for a feasibility study and cost analysis of the proposal to realign all the extensive utility and telephone wires that are strung along the tree-lined stress and place them underground; install traffic taming measures to relieve pressure from increasing commuter trips through the village; and amend worsening drainage situations caused by constant road surface build ups on some of the hilly streets.

Previously, the project was to be managed by the Northern District office of the Virginia Department of Transportation. The decision by the county to take on that responsibility brought the welcome news that the study will cover the entire village, rather than the smaller area VDOT had agreed to survey for the $476,000 allocated to the project.

The Waterford Foundation, the Waterford Citizens and the Waterford Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization all joined forces in 1998 to seek federal transportation enhancement funding for the bury the wires tame the traffic project, which was originally expected to cost up to $7 million. The groups have received T-21 funding of $476,000 towards the project over the intervening years, for which the county provided the required match of $95,200 after a close 5-4 vote earlier this year. The board authorized its use for the engineering study.

Eric Breitkreutz, executive director of the Waterford Foundation, said the study is estimated to take about 10 months. The RFP process will commence Oct. 1 or earlier, with bids to close by Oct. 30. The contract award notification will be announced Feb. 18 after approval by the board of supervisors Finance Committee. Work will start shortly thereafter and is expected to be completed by July 15.