Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling) was pleased hear the state will open Route 28/Sterling Boulevard in two weeks.
The Board of Supervisors urged VDOT to open the interchange six months ahead of schedule at its Tuesday, Nov. 21 meeting.
"We’re entitled to use the road," Delgaudio said. "It has been completed."
SEVERAL WEEKS AGO, VDOT delayed the opening of the interchange due to safety concerns from local businesses along Cedar Green Road.
The people along the road are concerned about access to businesses and homes, especially in an emergency.
Sen. Mark Herring (D-33) and Del. David Poisson (D-32) announced the decision to keep Cedar Green Road open last month. The decision was based on safety concerns and the effects the closure would have on small businesses located there.
Poisson said he is concerned for his constituents’ safety. If Cedar Green Road is closed, hundreds of business workers and their customers’ lives are in danger, in the event of an emergency, he said.
"The other ways into this area if there were a fire or medical emergency are completely inadequate," Poisson said.
VDOT hired an independent study group to conduct three studies on Cedar Green Road, accessing traffic safety over the next few months. The first study will examine Cedar Green Road's right-out access point, which will be conducted at the end of the month. The second will study the right-in access point from Route 28 to Cedar Green Road. The third study is already in process. VDOT hired an independent study group to come up with affordable accessibility options.
WHILE DELGAUDIO SAID he has no problem with VDOT studying the safety concerns of Cedar Green Road businesses, he did not realize it would affect the opening of the Route 28/Sterling Boulevard interchange.
"The Board of Supervisors was not informed the interchange would be closed," Delgaudio said. "We don’t open and close roads very frequently, when we do it, the road closure was necessary."
VDOT district manager Dennis Morrison said Cedar Green Road was scheduled to close this fall.
"This has been in the making a long time," he said.
When Route 28 was built, Cedar Green Road was intended to become a limited access roadway. A limited access road is one that can only be accessed through interchanges. So, the plan was to remove street lights and intersections along the highway, in order to discourage everyday traffic flow.
Douglas G. Rambo, Fire and Rescue Commission chairman, said he was concerned about the road closure as well. The road closure would eliminate primary access to Belfort Park.
As of now, Cedar Green Road may be accessed by Shaw Road, off of Sterling Boulevard and from Davis Drive.
The decision to close the road could have life or death consequences, Rambo said.
Delgaudio said Rambo never made his concerns public, before the October press conference.
"This is pure fantasy, fabrication, public relations," Delgaudio said.
THE BOARD of Supervisors voted 8-0-1 at its Nov. 21 meeting to request that phase one of the interchange be opened one week from the meeting as the discussion over Cedar Green Road continued. Supervisor Lori Waters (R-Broad Run) was absent for the meeting.
As for the Cedar Green Road safety concerns, Delgaudio said the road should be closed, but he was open to permitting limited access to the road for public-safety vehicles.