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VDOT to hold public hearing on lighting project for Afton Mountain at exit 99 of I-64

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The Virginia Department of Transportation plans to install lighting on Interstate 64 at exit 99 at the summit of Afton Mountain in Augusta County.

At a design public hearing on Tuesday, July 16, 2024, the public will have the opportunity to view project plans, speak with members of the project team and provide comments.

The public hearing will be held at Kate Collins Middle School, 1625 Ivy Street, Waynesboro, from 5 to 7 p.m. All comments received at the public hearing, and during the 10-day comment period after the hearing, will be reviewed by the project team and included in the public hearing record. In case of inclement weather, the hearing will be held on Thursday, July 18, 20024.

The proposed project will involve installing lighting at the top of Afton Mountain around the I-64 exit 99 interchange to improve safety and visibility for motorists. Thirty-five pole-mounted lighting fixtures will be installed within the limits of the exit 99 interchange along I-64 and U.S. 250. The lighting will improve visibility where the interchange ramps connect with U.S. 250 (Three Notched Mountain Highway) and assist motorists to navigate the interchange at night and during low-visibility conditions.

A visual impact study, conducted in coordination with the National Park Service, concluded that the planned lighting will have minimal impacts on most of the adjacent natural areas, including Shenandoah National Park, Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway.

The LED light fixtures will be mounted on 25-foot-tall light poles within the highway right-of-way. The lights will have housings that direct the lighting downward toward the roadway and minimize unwanted light pollution.

The lighting project component is one of two safety improvement projects coming to Afton Mountain. The other improvement, which is under way, will install a congestion warning system on Interstate 64. The lighting project is anticipated to begin in spring 2025 and estimated to be completed by fall 2025.

More information is available on the project web page. Project information, including the National Environmental Policy Act document in the form of a Programmatic Categorical Exclusion, is available on the project web site, at the public hearing or at VDOT’s Culpeper District Office, 1601 Orange Road, Culpeper, VA 22701, 540-829-7500, or 1-800-FOR-ROAD (367-7623). Call ahead to ensure the availability of personnel to answer your questions.

All work will be completed within the existing right of way. Tentative construction schedules may be reviewed at the above address and will be available at the public hearing.

Comments may be made at the hearing or submitted by July 26, 2024, to Caroline Awua-Mensah, Project Manager, Virginia Department of Transportation, 1601 Orange Road, Culpeper, VA 22701. Comments may also be e-mailed to [email protected]. Reference “I-64 Interchange Lighting Comment” in the subject line.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.