Strasburg starts second half of streetscape

The Shenandoah Valley-Herald

STRASBURG — Town residents have started watching for falling tree branches as the town begins the third phase of its Downtown Streetscape Project last week.

The third phase will continue the work of the second, which ended in 2014. Crews will install new sidewalks and crosswalks and refinish King Street between Holliday and Massanutten streets.

The first step of the latest stage, which started on July 27, is to trim treetops away from a set of power lines along King Street and replace underground water and sewer lines.

The trimming is a precursor to the trees’ eventual removal, Assistant Town Manager Jay McKinley said on July 28.

“We had to kill the power running through to the street lights,” he said. “We have to remove those Bradford pears. They tend to break easily.”

McKinley added that the town will release an Invitation to Bid to area contractors in the fall, with the goal of starting work on the street and sidewalks in the spring.

The project, to be completed in four phases, stretches from Capon Street to the Strasburg Museum, a distance of about half a mile.

The first phase covered the stretch of King Street between Holliday and Fort streets, while the second phase included the area between Fort and Capon streets.

The project’s funding process caused the two-year delay between the second and third phases, McKinley said.

“This is an 80/20 grant-funded project with VDOT,” he said. “After we finished phase two, we had to apply for a second round of funding.”

According to Strasburg’s fiscal 2017 budget, the town will pay $195,000 in Streetscape costs this year, with the Virginia Department of Transportation paying $975,000.

All four phases of the project are estimated to cost about $4 million.

The town is replacing the water and sewer infrastructure first to prevent the need to undo any or all of the project’s work in the future, McKinley said.

“We don’t want to have to tear up everything - the new streets and the new sidewalks - that we’ve done a year after we put this new streetscape in,” he said.

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