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Abingdon Town Council addresses road improvements, cedes right-of-way

Abingdon Town Council addresses road improvements, cedes right-of-way

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ABINGDON, Va. — Abingdon Town Council focused on roads — past, present and future — at Tuesday’s meeting.

That included a resolution addressing how a portion of the never-built White Avenue was left as part of Barter Drive.

On Tuesday, Town Council agreed to abandon the 40-foot White Avenue right-of-way after two residents of Barter Drive requested that land be deeded to them.

Also Tuesday, the council approved a resolution to apply for a $50,000 grant from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation to study the entire watershed of Town Creek.

According to John Dew, the town’s director of public works, this comes after that amount was already committed in the budget to study the creek’s flow and help reduce flooding issues on East Main Street.

Town Council actually set aside $100,000 to study the creek last year. But the grant application requires a match of $50,000, Dew said.

A few months ago, Town Creek flooded East Main Street, which was made worse when a trash can was caught in a drain, said Mayor Derek Webb.

“It was a mess,” he said.

Applying for the grant requires studying the entire watershed — not just floods on East Main Street, Dew said.

“We have issues in other places on Town Creek,” Dew said.

Still, Dew added, “The main focus is Main Street because that’s where we’re clearly most impacted.”

Concerning other roads, Dew presented updates on the following projects overseen by the town and the Virginia Department of Transportation:

» Adding a second right turn lane from U.S. 19 (Porterfield Highway) onto U.S. 11-South (Main Street), near Walgreens. This lane would help with congestion, according to Dew.

» Realigning Interstate 81’s Exit 17 with construction to begin in the new few weeks. This will eliminate the left turn lane to access I-81’s northbound lanes and provide a right turn lane and ramp for I-81 northbound. Construction is expected to take two years, Dew said.

» Adding a traffic signal for right turns from Old Jonesborough Road to turn on West Main Street (U.S. 11) “for safety reasons,” Dew said.

» Extend Empire Drive to Main Street and install a traffic signal near I-81’s Exit 19.

jtennis@bristolnews.com | 276-791-0709 | @BHC_Tennis

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