As a continuation of the RT 22/33 Sidewalk project that provided connectivity from the eastern edge of town to the central business center, the Downtown, Elm Avenue/Courthouse Square, School Street/Church Avenue and Lyde Avenue Projects add to the pedestrian safety improvements the Louisa Town Council embarked on in 2001.
Background and History
Since the Town of Louisa started on the restoration of the Louisa Elementary School to serve as a Town Hall, community support has been outstanding. Not only has the community donated over $1,000,000 to develop an adjacent Arts Center, but the Commonwealth of Virginia has assisted in funding a community park. With the help of the citizens of the Town and County, the Louisa Historical Society developed the Sergeant Museum of Louisa History in the Historic Sergeant - Petitit House. The Town of Louisa has seen a spark of revitalization of the core downtown area by the property owners which we hope will continue. Privately funded renovations include the Historic Patrick Henry Hotel, The Dobbins Building, The Boxley Building and the "Old Hardware Store" and the Purcell Building façade improvements. With the help of the TEA 21 funding and the momentum that has developed, we are confident that this town will remain a thriving small town in rural central Virginia.
School and Church St Sidewalk
Construction November 2010 – October 2011
The addition of ADA accessible sidewalks that connect the core downtown areas with the government and recreation centers along Fredericksburg Avenue and School Street will allow the town to develop as a tourist destination and build on our historic resources. The town currently is a stop on the Civil War Trails; the addition of safe walkways will allow the town to expand its walking trail to connect the downtown with the Historic Louisa County Courthouse, Oakland Cemetery, Louisa County Historical Society Museum (right), Fireman’s Fairground and the Louisa Town Hall and Arts Center (below), all which provide a sense of history and show how Historic Preservation can benefit a community.
The Community Park, Arts Center, and Museum are open most days for visitors; the baseball fields provide free recreation. Generally, walking in a small, well kept, police patrolled town is not only healthy but develops a sense of community in the rural areas of the state.
The project will also serve to alleviate parking problems downtown and provide safe walkways for our citizens to walk throughout our downtown area rather than circle the blocks in their cars looking for parking. If approved, a typical visitor could park in the new 88 space town hall parking lot, visit the town hall, spend time in the adjacent art gallery, visit the museum, walk to local restaurants across from the historic Louisa Courthouse and then watch a little league baseball game all without moving their vehicle; a truly pedestrian and visitor friendly scenario.
Lyde Avenue Sidewalk
Design November 2011, Construction Spring 2012
Lyde Avenue and Carter Street are home to an 108 unit apartment complex, a proposed 16 unit town home development, and existing 20 single family residences. All of the residents must walk in the street or drive to get to the downtown corridor. The side of the road is V ditch for drainage and along the ditch is private property. These constraints don't give pedestrians many options except to walk in the vehicle travel ways. The traffic at times is heavy due to residential development that has taken place on Lyde Avenue and Carter Street which are both dead end streets. The sidewalk, using existing VDOT right of way will separate pedestrians and vehicles to provide a safe zone for each.
Downtown and Courthouse Square
Finish Design Winter 2011/12 Construction Summer 2012
The Downtown Project is designed to accomplish a single task; pedestrian safety using two approaches. The first approach is using traffic calming devices commonly known as bump outs to slow traffic to the posted speed limit. The bump outs also provide pedestrians the opportunity to be in a safe zone, further in the crosswalk so that motorists and pedestrians can see each other and not get lost in the clutter of parked cars, crowds and other items. The second is to rehabilitate and replace the existing sidewalk on both sides of the Main Street. The current sidewalk is considered to be in a fair condition and failing. There have been several repairs to the sidewalk aftter utility failures which leaves the walking surface uneven. The existing cobra lights mounted on power poles provide adequate lighting for the area but the light is not consistently dispersed due to the height of the fixtures and spacing. Traditional street lamps will be placed to provide consistent lighting along the sidewalk and roadway.
The Courthouse Square Phase of the Downtown project will be designed to support more organized parking near the courthouse, curb and gutter to define the space, provide for proper drainage, and install sidewalks and bold crosswalks to provide for pedestrian safety. Also envisioned are removable bollards that will allow the square to be safely closed for events such as the Christmas Bazzar, Spring Days and other planned activites. The development of the 208 Connector has allowed this project to become a reality as there are now two ways to navigate to and from the downtown corridor from Interstate 64.