Meadowville interchange construction RFP expected soon

A request for proposals for construction of an interchange on Interstate 295 at Meadowville Technology Park will likely be issued in the next three months, officials said last week.

At the Board of Supervisors June 23 meeting, County Administrator Jay Stegmaier said officials had finalized the agreement with the Virginia Department of Transportation for the construction of the Meadowville interchange. The interchange is probably the best example most local officials have heard of the business community, the county and elected state and federal representatives “all coming together to advance a significant economic development opportunity for the county,” he said.

“We received word today that the state is very close to being in a position to release the request for proposals [RFP] for that construction project,” Stegmaier said.

The interchange will serve Meadowville Technology Park, which covers some 1,300 acres zoned for office, technology-based or light to moderate industrial uses and borders I-295 for about 2.5 miles, according to its website. The park is home to Northrop Grumman’s Commonwealth Enterprise Solutions Center, a 195,000-square-foot facility, the site says.

On Thursday, Economic Development Director Will Davis said officials expect the RFP to go out within the next three months.

“If we stay on schedule, we hope the Meadowville interchange will be completed by the end of calendar 2011,” Davis said. When construction begins, “we will have a groundbreaking,” he said.

“I’ve got shovels in the trunk,” he said. “Putting an interchange on the interstate is a complicated process.” The project has been in the works for years, and its completion “is going to further position that [area] as an economic development destination, so we’re very pleased with that,” he said.

“It’s going to be one of the top economic development sites, especially one of the top economic development technology sites, on the East Coast,” Davis said.

It will be a diamond interchange, he said, but the plans have been drawn in such a way that it could be converted to a cloverleaf interchange in the future, if necessary.

Though the actual cost won’t be known until the construction proposals are returned, officials have projected the interchange’s cost at about $20 million. It will be funded with about $12 million from the county, $3.2 million from the federal government and $5 million from the state’s Transportation Partnership Opportunity Fund, Davis said.

If the proposals come in under budget, any savings would be directly to the county, he said. The project is the result of a good public-private partnership: Local, state and federal governments have collaborated, and the business community voted a few years ago to use excess business license tax revenue to help fund the project.

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