After months of studies, public hearings, commentary, research and in-person experience, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors voted Oct. 4 to pave the two-and-a-half miles stretch of Greggsville Road in western Loudoun.
After a lengthy public hearing session full of supporters and opponents, the Board voted 7-0-2 in favor of paving, with Ron Meyer (R-Broad Run) and Geary Higgins (R-Catoctin) absent for the vote.
About 30 people spoke at the Board’s meeting, with the majority asking the road to be paved. Supporters included state senator Dick Black (R-13th), who represents parts of western Loudoun in the Virginia General Assembly. Black, among several others, cited a wide range of concerns about the road, most centering on safety and accessibility.
“Please pave the road,” Black said. “I’m not for many of them, but this is one we ought to do.”
Residents near the rural road outside Purcellville shared a myriad of anecdotes about the road, talking about dangers such as damage from pot holes, collisions with school buses and entrapment from snow storms.
A smaller but equally vocal group came out to support keeping the road unpaved. Supporters mostly argued on behalf of the road’s historic significance and the need for county officials to preserve the rural nature of the west.
In voting to pave the road, supervisors maintained that paving one road didn’t mean the county would pave them all. Many western Loudoun residents have adamantly defended preservation of unpaved roads for years, pointing out that some roads have been in the same shape since the 1700’s.
That same logic was pointed out by at least one supporter of paving as the exact reason upgrades are needed. Previous incarnations of the board had already worked on obtaining state funding for Greggsville Road, and the paving will not use any county taxpayer money.
Paving from the intersection of Jeb Stuart Rd. and Telegraph Springs Rd. will begin in 2017, with the road paved to Rural Rustic Standards. These standards mean the road doesn’t have to be constructed at modern paving standards, preserving much of the dimensions of the road that now exist.
The project will cost about $2 million.
Greggsville is the first of several roads identified by the Rural Rustic Standards program, a state-funded initiative that ends in 2022. In total, only 10 miles of roads in Loudoun County could be impacted by the program. That leaves at least 290 miles of unpaved roads, still the most of any jurisdiction in Virginia.