Warren County is seeking applications for the County’s Rural Addition Program to upgrade and take roads into the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) system. The program allows private subdivisions streets to be upgraded to minimum standards permitting their addition to the secondary system of highways through a combination of property owner, County and State funding. The County will accept applications postmarked by September 1, 2017.
In 1932, the General Assembly passed legislation that created the secondary system of state highways. VDOT was designated to manage and maintain the new highway system. Over the years, guidelines were established to ensure that qualifying roads could become eligible for acceptance into the state-maintained secondary system. The process to add existing roads that are not maintained by the state to this highway system begins with the local Board of Supervisors.
Developers of subdivisions build most of Virginia’s new roads. Streets built to the standards established in VDOT’s Subdivision Street Requirements and The Pavement Design Guide, are eligible to become state-maintained.
For many years, counties allowed subdivision streets to be built that did not meet the minimum standards permitting their addition to the secondary system of highways. The maintenance of such roads remains the responsibility of the developer or homeowners that are served. In many cases, when the cost of maintaining these roads becomes unaffordable, the citizens requested the state to accept their maintenance responsibility. In addition, residents on older, rural roads outside of established subdivisions often maintain their roads, too. These citizens may also want their roads to be added to the state-maintained highway system.
In October 2005, the Warren County Board of Supervisors adopted a policy that will allow the County to cost-share with VDOT and the various property owners’ associations/property owners to bring roads into the state system subject to available funding.
Eligible roads will be defined as those meeting the criteria for Rural Additions under Code Section 33.2-335. Because of the State’s minimum grade requirements (no more than a 10% slope); many of the private subdivision roads in Warren County cannot be brought up to state standards and taken into the system. An eligible road must have been shown on a plat which was recorded or otherwise opened to public use and used by motor vehicles for at least 20 years and that, for any reason, has not been taken into the secondary state highway system and serves at least three (3) families per mile.
If approved for Rural Addition funding, a project shall be determined upon the number of homes served by the proposed project and the public safety impact of improving the proposed road. An approved project will also take into account the terrain, drainage and/or other potential environmental issues that could increase the cost of the project.
The County will provide up to 25% of the total cost of an eligible project up to $250,000 subject to annual funding by the Board of Supervisors based on the adopted priority list. VDOT will provide matching funds up to 50% of project cost pursuant to Code Section 33.2-335 and subject to appropriations of the General Assembly.
In order for a private road to be considered for the VDOT Rural Addition/Revenue Sharing Program, the following criteria must be agreed to by the affected property owners/homeowner’s associations:
- The affected property owners/homeowner’s association/Sanitary District will agree to provide 25% of the total project cost at the commencement of the project.
- The affected property owners/homeowner’s association/Sanitary District must agree to provide a minimum fifty (50) foot unencumbered right-of-way with necessary easements outside of the platted right-of-way for cuts, fills, drainage, and utilities at no cost to the County.
- The affected property owners/homeowner’s association/Sanitary District must agree to pay for the cost of removal or relocation of any utility lines, mail boxes, fences or other improvements at the commencement of the project.
- The affected property owners/homeowner’s association/Sanitary District must agree to pay for any legal fees and surveying necessary to establish the street right-of-way and any easements. These costs would include any field survey, office work to prepare necessary plats/deeds, and any recordation costs.
- Any potential project would have to be connected to an existing state maintained roadway and meet all VDOT access/sight distance requirements.
Anyone interested in participating in the program should contact County Administrator Doug Stanley at (540) 636-4600 or firstname.lastname@example.org