The Virginia Department of Transportation Staunton District was awarded a Strategically Targeted Affordable Roadway Solutions (STARS) grant to study a portion of Route 55 in Warren County. The STARS grant is a competitive VDOT administered program to facilitate transportation road planning.
Using the Warren County Comprehensive Plan, the study area focuses on Route 55 from the Front Royal Corporate Limits to 1.82 miles east of this location. The study will evaluate the reconstruction of Route 55 to reduce hills and curves and widen the road to four lanes. As identified in the comprehensive plan, Route 55 will be a divided highway with a 16-inch raised median with crossovers and turn lanes.
The proposed work will increase roadway safety, improve driver visibility, and improved drainage.
The study will include input from citizens, local officials and local business interests. Meetings and displays will be available for citizen comment as plans are developed.
Upon the study conclusion, the results will be provided to Warren County to strengthen their application for potential House Bill 2 funding consideration.
The STARS Program objective develops comprehensive, innovative transportation solutions to relieve congestion bottlenecks and solve critical traffic and safety challenges throughout the commonwealth.
The program, led by the VDOT Transportation and Mobility Planning Division, brings together planners, traffic engineers, safety engineers, roadway design engineers and maintenance specialists, along with local stakeholders, to jointly identify cost-effective measures aimed at improving safety and reducing congestion. This multidiscipline approach, from the inception of the project through the completion, helps to:
- Develop innovative, cost-effective solutions
- Evaluate potential solutions more thoroughly
- Identify potential project risks and costs
- Build stakeholder consensus
- Improve readiness for project implementation
VDOT District offices can leverage Statewide Planning and Research funding to help identify, plan, conceptually design, and ultimately program projects that reduce congestion and improve safety. STARS projects typically result in a number of recommended improvements that may be eligible for funding and implementation under maintenance budgets, applications in the House Bill 2 process, applications for the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP), State of Good Repair budgets, and/or applications for revenue sharing.
The STARS project development process was created to provide a continuous pipeline of projects prepared for implementation.
The STARS grant for the Route 55 project is valued at $220,000 and will be administered by the VDOT Staunton District Planning Office.
The VDOT Staunton District serves Frederick, Shenandoah, Clarke, Warren, Page, Rockingham, Augusta, Highland, Rockbridge, Alleghany and Bath counties.