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Warrenton continues to look at Broadview Avenue changes

Tuesday, Apr. 8 | By Jonathan Hunley
This file photo shows Broadview Avenue looking north from the road's intersection with Route 211. Fauquier Times Staff Photo/Randy Litzinger
Efforts to make Warrenton's Broadview Avenue safer continue.

Town officials have been anxious to add a median to the lengthy thoroughfare for some time.

But businesses along the road initially were concerned that the push for safety could have the side effect of hurting commerce: How could customers turn into parking lots with a median in the way?

The solution, decided upon last year: Ditch the one large median in favor of 10 smaller, grass-covered ones, from the Frost Avenue intersection to the U.S. 17 turnoff.

Now the plan, which officials discussed at a Warrenton Transportation Safety Commission meeting Friday, awaits engineering work, Town Councilman Powell Duggan said Monday.

When that's completed, the next step will be to find money for the project, slated to cost $4.7 million.

The improvements could be paid for almost entirely by state and federal money, Duggan said, but they could be done sooner if Warrenton shared more of the cost with the Virginia Department of Transportation.

But it's unclear from where that local money for the project would come.

The pot of money set aside for Broadview will have only close to $1 million in it after the engineering work is done. So if the town footed part of the bill for the remaining cost, it might have to raid its rainy day funds, Duggan said.

So Warrenton officials will have to weigh how urgently the improvements are needed, he said, and that decision probably won't happen until after the municipal elections on May 6.

In the meantime, Duggan, who's unopposed in the race for mayor in those contests, said he's not sure that safety issues are increasing, though traffic studies on the road haven't been done in a while.

"It's not getting worse," he said. "It's just not getting better."

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