Del. Chris Peace and County Leaders Successfully include New Kent Forestry Center Road into the State Highway SystemRockahock Campground Crossing in Lanexa is next crossing to be addressed by VDOT
Central Virginia - In early November, New Kent County, working with the Virginia Department of Forestry (DOF), formally requested that the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) accept the roadway leading into the New Kent Forestry Center (NKFC) as a part of the state system of highways. The acceptance of the road will allow for a process to access federal grant funding for the crossing protection. This request was the culmination of months of collaborative meetings between Delegate Christopher K. Peace (R), New Kent administration and Supervisors Evelyn and Trout, and CSX officials.
Delegate Peace, at the request of New Kent Supervisors convened meetings with CSX and later with the Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton to support these safety initiatives. Peace and CSX official Quintin Kendall urged VDOT to approve the acceptance of the road into the state system. Recognizing the safety hazards, VDOT promptly responded to the joint request. Peace and the County know this is an important first step towards critical safety improvements needed to protect the traveling public at the railroad crossing at the NKFC location and across the county. A local Department of Forestry official wrote in a December 21 email concerning the recent approval, "this is definitely a major step in making the access at New Kent safer for our employees, users of our facility, and nearby residents."
Delegate Peace continues to work with County leaders and CSX representatives to address safety concerns at other non-signaled railway crossings in New Kent. In a letter to the Secretary of Transportation, Peace wrote, "I am in support of a request from New Kent County to help alleviate transportation safety concerns which have potential to cause property damage and possible loss of life. I stand ready to work with CSX, New Kent County and VDOT to implement the needed course of action."
State and Local officials, along with CSX, are working closely and diligently on behalf of the safety and well being of New Kent residents to address transportation safety concerns.