Saturday, December 2, 2023

Monticello multiuse trail enters next phase

Monticello Avenue in Williamsburg will soon offer better pedestrian access between Williamsburg's midtown district and James City County's New Town district. (WYDaily/File photo)
Monticello Avenue in Williamsburg will soon offer better pedestrian access between Williamsburg’s midtown district and James City County’s New Town district. (WYDaily/File photo)

After years of pedestrians and bicyclists having to travel along the roadside through a wooded area on Monticello Avenue, an end may be in sight.

Design has been completed for a multiuse trail spanning Monticello Avenue from Ironbound Road to the William & Mary School of Education, city spokeswoman Lee Ann Hartmann wrote in an email.

Design plans completed by civil engineering firm Vanasse Hangen Brustlin Inc. were submitted to City Engineer Aaron Small April 24.

From there, the design will need to be reviewed and sent to the Virginia Department of Transportation by the end of April to request federal authorization to put the project out to bid through the request for proposal process.

The project is funded by a $1 million grant through the Transportation Alternatives Program under the Federal Highway Administration.

The authorization process can take 60 to 90 days, or possibly longer, Small wrote in an email.

The bid process can take an additional 60 days because bidding needs to be open for a month and City Council needs to approve the contractor.

Hartmann said it’s hard to tell how many companies will place a bid on the project.

Why the trail?

The stretch of Monticello Avenue between New Town and William & Mary School of Education is dark and narrow, without streetlights, sidewalks or bike lanes.

The trail is a joint project between William & Mary and the city.

The city will pay $125,000 or the estimated $1.25 million cost. The grant covers $1 million, and the university will pay the remaining $125,000.

The trail designer has worked on other similar projects such as the Virginia Capital Trail and the Mariner’s Museum Trail.

The Monticello trail could become part of a larger regional use trail connecting Richmond to Fort Monroe in Hampton, according to council documents.

Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing is the Assistant Editor at WYDaily. Sarah was born in the state of Maine, grew up along the coast, and attended college at the University of Maine at Orono. Sarah left Maine in October 2015 when she was offered a job at a newspaper in West Point, Va. Courts, crime, public safety and civil rights are among Sarah’s favorite topics to cover. She currently covers those topics in Williamsburg, James City County and York County. Sarah has been recognized by other news organizations, state agencies and civic groups for her coverage of a failing fire-rescue system, an aging agriculture industry and lack of oversight in horse rescue groups. In her free time, Sarah enjoys lazing around with her two cats, Salazar and Ruth, drinking copious amounts of coffee and driving places in her white truck.

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