The next phase of the Halifax Downtown Revitalization Project is scheduled to begin Tuesday, weather permitting, according to Halifax town manager Carl Espy.
He said Ramirez Contracting, LLC working under the Virginia Department of Transportation is set to construct the Halifax Downtown Streetscape-War Memorial Enhancement Project and the Smart Scale Turning Radius Improvement Project.
Substantial completion of construction activity is scheduled to be finished by Sept. 18, weather permitting.
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 the crosswalk at Church Street and North Main Street (US Hwy 501), the town manager explained.
The Halifax County Board of Supervisors approved the donation of permanent Right-of-Way to VDOT necessary to accommodate the new turning radius along with a utility easement for underground electrical conduit for the decorative streetlights and the temporary construction easement, said Espy.
He also said 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, company founder and principal, work will first concentrate with mobilizing equipment, setting up safety barrels, making surface cuts and demolishing concrete curbing and sidewalks on Maple Avenue, along the north side of Mountain Road and the parking lot while coordinating the relocation of the sprinkler system at the War Memorial to keep the grass watered.
The electrical contractor is expected to 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 have been 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 Otis C. Vaughan Jr., CBO, Halifax County director of general properties, additional improvements associated with the Halifax Courthouse Renovation Project also will get underway the week of June 29 whereby through traffic along Edmunds Boulevard will be closed due to construction.
Phase I construction is expected to 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, Vaughan has explained, and once this section is completed, he said work will begin on Phase II.
As part of Phase II, he said the same process will take 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 is slated to 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 is expected to 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 (HCSO) and Magistrate’s Office located within the BRRJA building. The project is scheduled for completion by April 2021.
As each stage of construction gets underway, communication between Ramirez Contracting, VDOT, the town, county, Halifax Police Department, Halifax County Sheriff’s Office, Blue Ridge Regional Jail Authority, the businesses on Edmunds Boulevard and businesses in the general downtown area will continue to help minimize disruption of deliveries and access, according to Espy.
As Ramirez Contracting provides more detailed information, the town will pass this on to all involved, he said.
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.
These major capital improvements within the central business district and the 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 revitalization project to improve downtown by providing an attractive, pedestrian-friendly environment, according to the town manager.
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.