White Church Road and Stone Coal Road will be the next two gravel roads that will get surface treatment under the Virginia Department of Transportation’s gravel road program— at least on the Board of Supervisors’ priority list.

One mile of Buhrman Road south of Iron Gate is scheduled to get surface treatment— or “pave in place”— this spring, and depending on when that work is completed and if there’s any money left over from the project, the next road scheduled for the same kind of work is the .6 mile McFalls Road off Webster Road near Blue Ridge.

The county receives $414,000 in gravel road funds each year, and any funds left over from one project can be moved to another project.

After these two roads, seven remain on the supervisors’ new priority list for upgrading the gravel roads using the Rural Rustic Roads pave-in-place method that does not have right-of-way and other requirements.

The supervisors directed that .75-mile of White Church Road (Rt. 666) west of Fincastle that is not paved be next on the list. It has eight residences and 27 school-age children.

The 1-mile Stone Coal Road (Rt. 748) is next. It is considered a good candidate for the Rural Rustic program and it has the second highest traffic count of any county road with 27 homes and 11 school-age children.

The estimated cost for White Church Road is $470,000, and the estimate for Stone Coal Road is $590,000.

The other five roads on the priority list are, in no particular order:

  • Trevey Road (Rt. 638), .6 mile between Wheatland Road and Old Hollow Road east of Fincastle at an estimated cost of $800,000.
  • Short Road (Rt. 652), .23 mile east off US 460 at Blue Ridge at an estimated cost of $100,000.
  • Back Creek Lane (Rt. 646), .5 mile off Lithia Road south of Buchanan at a cost of $189,000.
  • Old Hollow Road (Rt. 638), .6 mile of unpaved portion at an estimated cost of $230,000.
  • Stevens Road (Rt. 712), 1.2 mile between Blacksburg Road and Country Club Road west of Fincastle at an estimated cost of $453,000.

The Board of Supervisors spent a day in December traveling with VDOT officials looking at gravel roads.

Last October the supervisors had a work session on gravel roads and learned the county has 115 gravel roads that cover 150 miles. About half of the roads are not good candidates for the Rural Rustic Road program for various reasons, including too low of a traffic count and issues with the roads.

— Ed McCoy