Residents driving through Toano might find their route to work disrupted in the coming year as James City County prepares two projects, each costing around $1 million, to improve drainage and restore streams.
The first project, for transportation and drainage improvement, has no official start date yet, said Darryl Cook, assistant director of James City County’s stormwater and resource protection.
The project will make improvements on portions of the road from the fire station to Toano Middle School, and will potentially impact the following areas:
- Intersection of US60 & CSX Railroad, east to intersection with Chickahominy Road
- Depot Street
- Toano Drive
- Chesapeake Avenue
- Portions of School Lane
- Portions of Church Lane
- Portions of Forge Road
The drainage project is estimated to cost $1.43 million, 50 percent of which will be paid by the Virginia Department of Transportation, Cook said. One of the project’s goals is to also provide greater pedestrian and bicycle safety by creating bike lanes on both sides of the road and adding crosswalks and a median to help people crossing the street.
In addition, the county is also set to begin a stream restoration project focusing on France Swamp Stream, according to a community presentation from the county in August 2018.
“The existing stream that is being restored is eroding and unstable,” Cook said. “This will be a benefit to residents by reducing erosion, protecting property and improving the local water quality.”
Additionally, the buildup of sedimentation from the stream has caused a drainage culvert to clog and significantly reduce its capacity. With this project, the county plans to stabilize the stream and reduce future maintenance needs which will improve local drainage, Cook said.
The stream restoration project is estimated to cost $1.13 million with 50 percent of the costs being paid for by a grant from the Department of Environmental Quality. Construction is anticipated to begin in the fall of 2019.
The county has had multiple meetings with the community over the past year to hear input from residents and ensure the right improvements are made in the right places, according to the county’s website.
“The only drawbacks to the projects that I see are temporary inconveniences caused during the actual construction process,” Cook said.