Article date: November 16, 1999

Bypass to be a factor in developing road design for Avtex project

"Our goal is just to maximize the amount of developable land."

Stephen A. Heavener, authority director

By: Diane Hartson

The Front Royal Town Council was told Monday that a planned bypass between the Avtex Fibers Superfund site and the Randolph Macon Academy will be taken into account when roads are designed for the redevelopment of the Avtex site.

The Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority approved a preliminary design for a 155-acre business park at Avtex on Friday.

The design includes a main roadway to be called Fred Foster Drive.

Town Manager Richard A. Anzolut said Monday at the council’s work session that a local bypass along the Avtex and academy boundaries has been planned for many years.

In a memo to the council, Planning Director Kimberly P. Fogle said the road would provide an alternative to Royal Avenue.

She drafted a proposed revision to the Avtex business park plan that would avoid sending traffic unrelated to the business park through the property and would take into account the planned bypass.

The authority is expected to buy about 500 acres at the Avtex site by the end of the year. Its redevelopment plans call for a mixed-use business park on the eastern half of the site and a nature preserve and recreation area on the western half. At the southeastern end of the property, the 25-acre Ed Stump Park will be developed into soccer fields.

Ms. Fogle’s version would shift to the bypass, which would then connect to Kendrick Lane. The bypass would carry through-traffic in that section of town, she said.

Authority Director Stephen A. Heavener said Ms. Fogle’s version met the main criteria for the authority.

"Our goal is just to maximize the amount of developable land" at the Avtex site, he said.

The authority would cooperate with the town in ensuring its interior roads work with the town’s existing and planned roads, Heavener said.

The council agreed Monday to acquire an 80-foot right of way to be four lanes wide.

Anzolut said more details on the bypass will be presented to the council at a Nov. 29 work session. Consultants who have been working on a proposed transportation plan for the town will present their findings at that meeting.