In April 2011 a storm rendered storm damage to Ellis Run a rural road in the Lithia section a few miles south of Buchanan. The estimate cost to repair the area of road is $300,000 which has been considered cost prohibitive by VDOT.the stretch is 0 .375 miles. VDOT proposed discontinuance of road maintenance at the September BOS meeting.
A proposal to relocate part of the road to Fringer Trail would cost $180,000.
On Nov. 27, VDOT brought up the subject in a Public Hearing. A number of residents of the road and community came to the hearing in order to voice their concerns.
Mark Bracessi argued that Ellis Run was the fastest safest way to get to his home. He has a child with special needs and one prone to seizures. The new route would have steeper grades and more narrow roads to negotiate. He noted that he had a conversation with the Buchanan Fire Chief who said it would be harder to get into the area with the new arrangement.
William Lindall lives on Fringer Trail. He said,”We also have a child with special needs. How long will it be out of commission? When is someone going to talk to us about this? We are concerned about EMS and fire department. We are also concerned about GPS listing only Ellis Run. Kevin Fringer Mountain Valley road on the north end of Ellis Run. He agreed with the other two gentlemen about the road and safety. He added in the train blocking the road is also a problem. Jimmy Harris, Diane Camper and Thomas Wilburn also echoed the problems associated with not keeping Ellis Run up.
Terry Austin Buchanan Supervisor stressed the lack of rural road funds. He proposed that improvements changed from Bridge Street improvements and fixing the road to the n benefit of the citizens who live there. He asked VDOT to look into that to use on improving the southern part of Fringer Trail. He also said he could understand both positions. He said he was aware of the problems but felt to keep the proposed VDOT closure as best appropriations of funds. Jack Leffel said it would be like throwing away the $300,000 away since t it was viewed as a 10 year fix.