Burleigh Road residents think VDOT improvement plan doesn’t go far enough

by Bill Nachman - Posted on Jun 19, 2013 - 01:33 PM

Several residents along Burleigh Road said Tuesday night they don’t think a state plan to improve that roadway is good enough.

During a public meeting at Botetourt Elementary School hosted by the Virginia Department of Transportation, some homeowners said they think that VDOT shouldn’t improve just the approximately 0.2-mile section of the winding roadway as proposed—but instead an approximately 2½-mile stretch of the road, if funds become available.

Sean Trapani, residency administrator of VDOT’s Saluda Residency that serves Gloucester, said that the current plan is to widen a stretch of Burleigh Road, straighten three curves and improve drainage in one section of the road. The project area now starts 0.42 of a mile east of Route 616 and extends 0.59 of a mile east of Route 616.

No houses are located along Burleigh in the proposed project route, Trapani said, with the state wishing to acquire rights-of-way from several property owners.

Ruth Ann Birdsall, who owns the Burleigh homestead with her brothers David and Gilbert Birdsall, said she opposes the VDOT plan because it does not address flooding along portions of the road nor does it adequately take into consideration frequent speeding along the curvy road that a VDOT report identifies as "a Rural Major Collector." The roadway is used as an alternate to Route 17 and is a bus route for Gloucester High School. Gilbert Birdsall said his family’s 350-acre tract dates to a 1775 land grant.