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New Gloucester- York County-Williamsburg York River Crossing discussed

Charles Records, the developer  of the Coleman’s Crossing mixed-use project in Hayes, and an engineer is seeking to revive a long-dormant plan to build a bridge across the upper York River to connect Gloucester with York County and Williamsburg..  Mr Records gave a  presentation to Gloucester county supervisors that outlined a history of the project, which first began discussions in the late 1980s.

He stated that traffic Issues surrounding the Route 17  corridor in Gloucester are an issue of concern within the County and the region in general. The Coleman Bridge and Route 17, from the Bridge to the Courthouse, is approaching capacity.

“Studies were started beginning in 1988, when it was determined a problem existed at the Coleman Bridge. The complexity and potential cost of this project is significant. It is imperative that a process begins to address this issue. It is evident that this County will be faced with traffic problems, at some point in the near the future, that will be similar to the early 1990s”

imageRecords feels an Upper Crossing of the York River is a major issue and could be a potential solution to a future problem. This topic will effect the Quality of Life for the citizens of this County and the entire Middle Peninsula for many generations to come.

The proposal to conduct a  feasibility study of building a bridge spanning the upper York River was met favorably Wednesday night by Gloucester’s Board of Supervisors.

No costs or funding source, were discussed but Records sought approval to work with three other engineers, as well as county and state staff, to explore the need for a bridge, its possible location in Gloucester and its benefits to the county.

Working with Records on the feasibility study will be three other engineers with extensive backgrounds in transportation:

•Arch Marston, a vice president with AES Consulting Engineers who worked extensively on Route 199 in James City and York counties. Other projects include working as the original project manager for New Town in James City County and providing conceptual planning for the 80-acre Sentara-Williamsburg Regional Medical Center campus in York County.

•Don James, a Gloucester-based civil engineer with AES Consulting Engineers. Among his projects, James was principal-in-charge for Canon’s IRT plant expansion — an 80,000-square-foot building — and provided civil design services for the 40,000-square-foot Sentara Medical Office Building. Both projects are in the Gloucester Business Park.

•Bryant Goodloe, who has 48 years of experience in the engineering field for the planning, design and construction of streets, roadways, traffic systems, educational facilities, commercial centers, employment centers, residential communities and recreational areas. He has provided engineering services in 96 counties and 47 cities or towns.

A study in 2000 analyzed four scenarios, including building an upper York River crossing. But nothing has been done since then.

“From a tourism standpoint, the Historic Triangle could become a historic square,” he said. Cutting the travel time from the Gloucester Courthouse area from 50 minutes to 15 minutes would make historic areas of Gloucester much easier to access.

Records now will present an outline of the feasibility study to Brenda Garton,  County Administrator  on how much staff time will be required for the project before bringing the request back to the supervisors for final approval to proceed.

Back in the late 80’s  Gloucester and York County residents had pushed for an upriver crossing as a means of relieving congestion on Route 17 and the George P. Coleman Memorial Bridge.

The highway and bridge proposed back in 1988 would have started at the intersection of Routes 17 and 615 in Gloucester and crosses Route 614 on its way to the York River at Rosewell. It would then come ashore in York County at Cheatham Annex and tie into the Route 199-Interstate 64 interchange.

The transportation board  decided instead to widen the Coleman bridge, but asked the counties to protect the proposed road’s right-of-way to make this alternative route possible in the future.

Read about the hearing here

You can watch the presentation here

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