Update on the “Safe Routes to School” Grant

Remember the Walk to School grant for the part of Crozet near Crozet Elementary?

So did a concerned parent who asked the County for an update, and received this response.

From Jack Kelsey with Albemarle County:

Regarding the Safe Routes to School Project, the short answer is that it’s being designed by David Anhold & Associates and I’m expecting a progress print this week.

The long answer is that a lot has transpired to get us to this point. Our original plan was to provide this simple design in-house, we hired a surveyor, and had the project area surveyed.  We were in the process of addressing VDOT’s environmental requirements (required by all projects funded by VDOT), when VDOT informed us that we could not do the design in-house due to the project being funded by the grant.  

The design fee was expected to be small and well below the procurement limit where we may request 3 fee proposals from consultants, then choose one and move on with design.  However, VDOT’s procurement rules required this project have a public advertised “request for proposals”, formal interview of the candidates by a committee, selection and negotiation of the fee, and lastly VDOT’s approval of the selection process and chosen firm. Fortunately at that time we were just completing our procurement process for civil engineering “on-call” design services contracts.  We had to submit our procurement process information to VDOT for review and did receive approval to select from our new “on-call” consultants.  

This took time, but far less than then going through a formal project specific “request for proposals”.  We provided Anhold Associates with a project scope and requested a fee proposal.  The fee was reviewed/approved, a project order routed for signature, and a notice to proceed was issued 10 August 2011.

I hope this information is helpful.  Please contact me if you have any questions.

Jack M. Kelsey, PE
Transportation Engineer
Office of Facilities Development
County of Albemarle
401 McIntire Road
Charlottesville, Virginia 22902-4596
(434) 872-4501 office; ext 3376
(434) 760-1272 mobile
(434) 972-4091 fax
jkelsey@albemarle.org

Also:

The award was announced in 23 April 2010, but the required VDOT-County agreement wasn’t approved by VDOT until 25 August 2010.  What needs to be kept in mind is that with State-Federal grants there are inherent processes and procedures that must be followed, so a portion of this time is allotted to these tasks.  However, overall the time frame is conservative to allow adequate time to get the project scheduled and completed.

As for our schedule, we plan to have the plans, plats and bidding documents completed by the end of the year.  Then have the right-of-way/easement dedication acquired this winter.  The construction will then be publically bid late winter/early spring 2012.  Construction could then begin in spring 2012 and we estimate it will take about 3 months to complete.

Update 3 October 2011: Aaron Richardson at the Daily Progress has an update on this story.

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8 Replies to “Update on the “Safe Routes to School” Grant”

  1. We will be moving to the area soon.  We recently purchased a home on Buck Road and have been renovating it as best we can from Denham Springs, Louisiana where we are moving from.  I have a question about this grant though.  Our first grader will be attending Crozet Elementary and according to google maps our home is only 0.5 miles from the school but when driving the proposed route it seems unsafe to walk (No sidewalks on the curvy road etc.)  Is this grant to address this problem on Crozet Ave going North?

    1. It will address it part way up but not the whole way to Buck Road.    I think this could be a great place to get the excellent Crozet Trail Group involved to look at possible connections to the new improvements.     The biggest improvement will be a crosswalk with flashing light to cross 810.     They’re an awesome group and I think they can really help here.    Welcome to Crozet you will love it here !!  

    2. thanks for your interest! You will love this sweet little area of “northern Crozet”. The sidewalk is supposed to go to Ballard Drive (the first entrance closest to the school). The only other way you could walk to school is to ask permission to walk through one of the adjoining yards to Laurel Hills subdivision then walk from there. It is probably a 20 minute walk. Alternatly, you could walk down Buck to St.George. That section of 810 (from Ballard to Buck) is dangerous without shoulders or good visibilty. We used to live on that stretch and never walked on the road. I would love to see the speed limit lowered (from St.George to Buck Rd) to 25MPH. IN the meantime, citizens, please drive slowly to make this area walker -friendly. Thanks!

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