The Halifax Downtown Streetscape-War Memorial Enhancement Project and the Smart Scale Turning Radius Improvement Project continue to make progress since mobilizing on June 30 with Ramirez Contracting, LLC working under the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), administration.

VDOT has reviewed a Traffic Control Plan, which the contractor will implement by the middle to late week, weather permitting.

Safety barrels around the War Memorial and along Mountain Road, past Maple Avenue, will be set up to keep traffic moving in both directions while crews make surface cuts and demolish concrete curbing and sidewalks.

The right turn lane from North Main Street, southbound onto Mountain Road west, will be closed during this construction activity.

A truck detour will be in effect during construction, directing tractor-trailers to Green’s Folly Road-Sinai Road to Mountain Road west.

Eastbound traffic on Mountain Road to the Highway 501 intersection will be reduced to one lane.

According to Eddie Ramirez, company founder and principal, the goal is to minimize flagging during the time crews are working and allow the traffic signal to manage the traffic at the intersection while motorists carefully navigate past the safety barrels.

As Ramirez Contracting provides more detailed information, the town will pass this on to all involved, said town manager Carl Espy.

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, Espy added.

The work involves installing ADA compliant sidewalks and crosswalks, landscape areas and decorative streetlights around the Halifax County War Memorial and Maple Avenue Parking Plaza in addition to the installing a crosswalk at Church Street and North Main Street.

The Halifax County Board of Supervisors approved the donation of permanent Right-of-Way to VDOT necessary to build the new turning radius along with a utility easement for underground electrical conduit for the decorative streetlights, and temporary construction easement.

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.

After mobilizing equipment, and setting up safety barrels for the work zone in early July, the contractor made surface cuts, demolished concrete curbing and sidewalks on Maple Avenue along the north side of Mountain Road and the parking lot, which was followed by casting new concrete curbing for ADA compliant sidewalks and landscape areas.

The sprinkler system at the War Memorial was relocated to keep the grass watered. The electrical contractor has installed the lighting conduit in this area as well. The general contractor has received an approved schedule from VDOT for construction activity phasing, and a Traffic Control Plan.

The upcoming stage of construction for the War Memorial turning radius, with the temporary truck detour plan, special signage, and traffic pattern change directed by safety barrels is expected to be completed within 7-10 days once work commences. Substantial completion of all construction activity is scheduled to be finished by Sept. 18, weather permitting.

Otis C. Vaughan Jr., CBO, Halifax County director of general properties, stated the additional improvements associated with the Halifax Courthouse Renovation Project are continuing.

Through traffic along Edmunds Boulevard remains closed due to construction.

For Phase I construction on Edmunds Blvd. from Mountain Rd. to the corner next to the Blue Ridge Regional Jail Authority sally port entry, sidewalks have been demolished and are being replaced with new curbing, and the roadway has been milled down for new grading and pavement.

Vaughan has explained 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 (US Hwy 501).

In addition to new sidewalks on both sides of Edmunds Boulevard from South Main Street to Mountain Road, the courthouse streetscape also will 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 Count Sheriff’s Office and Magistrate’s Office located within the BRRJA building.

The project is scheduled for completion by April.

These major capital improvements within the central business district and the town of Halifax Courthouse 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 revitalization project to improve downtown by providing an attractive, pedestrian-friendly environment, said Espy.

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.

For further information, contact Espy at 476-2343 or Vaughan at 476-3300 ext. 5.