The Rapp for Feb. 21

Commuter alerts

Due to the wintry weather, the pipe project on Route 647 (Crest Hill Road) in Rappahannock County was postponed until next week. The road will be closed to through traffic starting Monday, Feb. 25 to allow for replacement of a pipe 2.8 miles east of Route 522 (Zachary Taylor Highway) and 2 miles from the Fauquier County line.

Crest Hill Road will reopen to traffic the afternoon of Friday, March 1. Drivers are advised to use alternate routes during the closure. Access will be maintained to all private and commercial entrances.

Meanwhile, due to bridge work over a branch of Bridgewater Creek near the Culpeper County line, Route 522 (Sperryville Pike) will be reduced to one lane controlled by flagging. Construction is set to wrap up on Friday.

Also on Route 522 (Sperryville Pike), there will be sign work between Route 231 and the village of Sperryville, so expect brief delays through Friday.

Updating the westbound bridge replacement over the North Fork Thornton River on Route 211/522 (Lee Highway), the anticipated completion date remains July 2019.

Double gold!

Results of the 2019 Virginia Governor’s Cup competition are in and Rappahannock County’s Gadino Cellars has won medals for all four wines it entered.

Among the awards: Gold Medals for its 2013 Nebbiolo and 2015 Delfino Rosso (Bordeaux blend). The Gadino Cellars 2015 Petit Manseng and 2016 Petit Verdot both received Bronze Medals.

Bill Gadino tends to the tasting room bar at Gadino Cellars. Luke Christopher | Rappahannock News

Over 500 wines were entered in this year’s competition, which is one of the most stringent in the country. The competition was held in Richmond in January and is only open to Virginia Wines made with 100 percent Virginia grapes.

Owners Bill and Aleta Gadino will be presented the Gold Medals by Governor Ralph Northam at the Governor’s Cup Gala in Richmond on Feb. 26.

The winning wines are available for tasting and purchase at the Gadino Cellars tasting room. See website for hours and directions (www.gadinocellars.com).

Fodderstack fun

You know warmer weather is on the way when registration begins for the annual Fodderstack run, which will be held Saturday, April 13, at 9 a.m.

This is the 41st Annual Fodderstack 10K, its one-of-a-kind course traversing the hills and hollows between Flint Hill and Washington.

Whether you’re looking for a serious race against other accomplished and proven runners, or simply challenging yourself for a morning, The Fodderstack 10K is sure to leave a lasting impression.

For more information and to register visit www.fodderstack10k.com.

Watch for tractors

Approximately 15,000 farm vehicles are involved in highway crashes annually, and Rappahannock County has not been spared.

Studies show 90 percent of collisions between slow moving tractors and motor vehicles occur on dry roads during daylight hours, and two-thirds are rear-end collisions. When a fatality occurs, the victim is usually the tractor operator.

The Virginia Farm Bureau tracked 10 farm-related fatalities between December 2017 and December 2018, making last year “one of the worst years in the recent history of farm accidents in Virginia.”

Tractors generally travel at less than 20 mph, compared to cars cruising at 55 mph or faster. Making matters worse, says bureau member Wallick Harding, “everybody’s distracted and in a hurry.”

He knows of what he speaks. In January 2018, while moving his tractor — equipped with a slow-moving vehicle emblem and flashing lights — from one field to another on U.S. Route 360 in southern Virginia, a motorist rear-ended him. The impact shoved the tractor into a tree, causing Harding to go into cardiac arrest and resulting in brain injury.

After three days in a coma and 13 days in intensive care, Harding asked VDOT to install two large, reflective tractor crossing signs on the highway near his farm to help avoid future crashes.

In June 2017, longtime Washington-area farmer Dwight “Ike” Frye was seriously injured when the Massey Ferguson farm tractor he was driving westbound on Route 211 near Old Massies Corner Road was rear-ended by a Chevy truck, causing the farmer to be ejected and the pickup to overturn.

Frye was rushed by Washington Volunteer Fire and Rescue ambulance to Fauquier Hospital in Warrenton, and then airlifted by helicopter to Inova Fairfax Hospital with serious injuries. Frye, sadly, passed away this past September at the age of 61.

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