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East Main St. widening may be terminated

"I hate to give up on it, but at the same time I think it’s probably dead anyway."
That was Pulaski Mayor Jeff Worrell’s summation of the East Main Street four-laning project.
The town has been trying for years to get the rest of East Main Street, from the Bob White Boulevard intersection to the town limits, converted from two to four lanes. About $3 million in Urban funding had collected in a Virginia Department of Transportation account for the project before VDOT recently dropped the axe on it receiving additional funding through 2014.
Now, the town has the opportunity to terminate the project and use those funds for other projects. If Pulaski Town Council chooses to do so, VDOT will waive a requirement that $500,000 already spent on four-laning plans be reimbursed to the state.
Town Manager John Hawley said the total cost of the East Main project now stands in the neighborhood of $13 million, so it is unlikely the account will be able to keep up with ever-escalating construction costs. However, he warned town council that terminating the project probably will mean it will never happen.
"But then, it may not (ever be completed) either way," Hawley added.
Councilman Morgan Welker suggested the town might want to delay taking any action until after the Commonwealth Transportation Board meets this week to discuss the use of stimulus funds for road projects.
The East Main project is one of the projects the town submitted for consideration for stimulus funding.
Mayor Jeff Worrell asked that Hawley have a VDOT representative placed on the agenda of a future meeting to discuss the proposition.

East Main St. widening may be terminated

"I hate to give up on it, but at the same time I think it’s probably dead anyway."
That was Pulaski Mayor Jeff Worrell’s summation of the East Main Street four-laning project.
The town has been trying for years to get the rest of East Main Street, from the Bob White Boulevard intersection to the town limits, converted from two to four lanes. About $3 million in Urban funding had collected in a Virginia Department of Transportation account for the project before VDOT recently dropped the axe on it receiving additional funding through 2014.
Now, the town has the opportunity to terminate the project and use those funds for other projects. If Pulaski Town Council chooses to do so, VDOT will waive a requirement that $500,000 already spent on four-laning plans be reimbursed to the state.
Town Manager John Hawley said the total cost of the East Main project now stands in the neighborhood of $13 million, so it is unlikely the account will be able to keep up with ever-escalating construction costs. However, he warned town council that terminating the project probably will mean it will never happen.
"But then, it may not (ever be completed) either way," Hawley added.
Councilman Morgan Welker suggested the town might want to delay taking any action until after the Commonwealth Transportation Board meets this week to discuss the use of stimulus funds for road projects.
The East Main project is one of the projects the town submitted for consideration for stimulus funding.
Mayor Jeff Worrell asked that Hawley have a VDOT representative placed on the agenda of a future meeting to discuss the proposition.