The City of Radford will soon begin engineering work on a portion of a connector road between Tyler Avenue and East Main Street, Radford City Council decided on Monday.
The Virginia Department of Transportation has put the city on notice that it must use nearly $3 million in accumulated state transportation funds due to a change in the way those funds are now allocated. VDOT has already approved the Tyler Avenue-East Main Street connector road and has given permission for the funds to be used for it.
With city council’s resolution Monday, the project will enter the engineering phase soon, with construction likely to begin within the next two years, Radford City Manager David Ridpath said Monday. The $2.9 million in VDOT funds will pay for the first .08 mile of the project. It will consist primarily of the intersection of Auburn and Tyler Avenues, with a short portion of the road into the now undeveloped land between Tyler Avenue and Route 11/ East Main Street.
“This project opens up land for potential development, both commercial and residential,” said Ridpath.
Also on Monday, Ridpath updated council members on the Little River hydroelectric dam project. The dam was damaged in August 2014 and is currently being repaired at a cost of $2.6 million. Ridpath said the project is moving along well and the dam should be recommissioned in early December. Radford has been operating the Little River Dam since 1933, with about three percent of the city’s electricity needs produced annually, saving the city about $367,000 a year in the cost of wholesale power.
The city is also set to receive $229,000 in reimbursements from American Electric Power due to a change in the wholesale power agreement with AEP.