The Clarke County Board of Supervisors has approved Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) plans to add a hard-top surface to rural Ebenezer Road on the west side of the Blue Ridge. The Ebenezer Road improvements are intended to comply with Virginia’s Guidelines for Rural Rustic Roads methodology for offering “environmental and financial stewardship while providing basic paved access to more of Virginia’s rural countryside.”
VDOT Program Manager Edwin Carter told the Supervisors on August 17th that 25 of 26 citizen replies to VODT were in favor of adding the hard surface to Ebenezer Road from the intersection of Route 607 (Sawmill Hill Road) to .35 miles south of Mountaineer Lane.
The Rural Rustic Road improvement program is designed for roads predominately used for local traffic. The local nature of the road means that most motorists using the road have traveled it before and are familiar with its features.
Based on Carter’s testimony the Supervisors approved a resolution designating Ebenezer Road a “Rural Rustic Road”.
In approving the Rural Rustic Road designation VDOT requires that the road have minimal anticipated traffic growth and that the County Board of Supervisors endeavor to limit growth on roads improved under the program and cooperate with VDOT through its comprehensive planning process to develop adjacent lands consistent with rural rustic road concepts.
As a rural rustic road, VDOT must consider the historic and aesthetic significance of such road and its surroundings with a focus on leaving trees, vegetation, side slopes, and open drainage abutting the roadway undisturbed to the maximum extent possible.
According to Virginia Code, the maximum speed limit on any highway designated a rural rustic road is 35 miles per hour; however, all speed limits on rural rustic roads in effect on July 1, 2008, remain unchanged unless changed subsequent to a traffic engineering study.
VDOT Work in Clarke County
VDOT says that it has finished spraying the county’s dirt roads with calcium chloride to help control dust. General brush trimming around road signs countywide is also taking place.
VDOT resources were also used to clear storm damage that occurred the week of July 25th.
Drainage pipes along Blueridge Mountain Highway (Route 601) have been cleaned along with pavement patching operations on Route 606 and Route 649.
VDOT says that mowing operations will continue around the county over the next thirty days. Road shoulder repairs and patching work will also be taking place at various locations throughout the county.