The town of Vienna will spend an additional $61,000 for right-of-way services associated with a sidewalk-improvement project on Park Street, N.E.
The Vienna Town Council on March 22 unanimously approved the expenditure with Whitman, Requardt & Associates to secure temporary construction easements and rights of entry.
The approximately $800,000 project, approved in 2018, will add curb, gutter and sidewalks on the north side of Park Street between Albea Court, N.E., Ayr Hill Avenue, N.E. The initiative will fill in a missing sidewalk gap along Park Street, said Vienna Public Works Director Michael Gallagher.
Eighty percent of the project is being financed with federal and state moneys from a Virginia Department of Transportation grant, with the town matching the remaining 20 percent using funds from the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority.
Because the project uses some federal funding, in order to obtain the necessary easements and rights of entry, the town must follow the federal Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisitions Policies Act, a process town officials describe as “complicated and time-consuming.”
The town will not need to use eminent domain for the project because property owners have consented to the temporary easements.
“We’re very fortunate in the town,” said Vienna Town Attorney Steven Briglia. “The citizens and the adjoining property owners routinely sign temporary easements, if it’s necessary . . . Federal highway transportation funding requires a more formal process. They will not allow non-recorded, temporary construction easements.”