Hearing set for roundabout

Published 11:08 am Tuesday, April 10, 2018

A public hearing will take place for the design of a projected roundabout in the area of U.S. Route 15, Farmville Road and Route 692, Kingsville Road on April 19.

The hearing will be held from 4-6 p.m. at 100 Dominion Drive, at the Prince Edward County Cooperative Extension Office.

The roundabout project, which is projected to cost a total of $2,808,037, “will consist of removing the existing intersection, access roads, signal lights and constructing a roundabout, pedestrian crosswalk and access management to improve traffic flow and safety concerns associated with the existing intersection,” documentation from the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) cited.

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The intersection, according to the VDOT documents and VDOT Representative Paula Jones, was ranked by VDOT as 10th for the number of fatalities.

“Of the 100 intersections reviewed in the entire district, this intersection ranked 10th for the number of fatalities,” Jones said.

The opportunity for public comments will end on April 29, or May 4 in the case of inclement weather.

The VDOT documentation noted that following the approval of the design and the authorization of the right of way, advertising the construction of the roundabout will take place Oct. 13, 2020, and that construction is projected to be completed in the summer of 2021.

Raina Rosado, the project manager for the roundabout project, noted that the roundabout is a project that Prince Edward County submitted.

The SMART SCALE program, according to the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB), “is the method of scoring planned projects included in VTrans that are funded by House Bill 1887. Transportation projects are scored based on an objective, outcome-based process that is transparent to the public and allows decision-makers to be held accountable to taxpayers. Once projects are scored and prioritized, the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) has the best information possible to select the right projects for funding.”

“This project is one of the Round 1 SMART SCALE projects that was submitted several years ago by Prince Edward County,” Rosado said.

Wade Bartlett, county administrator for Prince Edward County noted that road projects often take time to be developed.

“These road projects take a long time to mature,” Bartlett said, noting that discussions concerning the roundabout he estimates have taken place for more than a year.

“It’s all funded by the state,” Bartlett noted, saying the project was not an expense that would be funded by the county.

Other projects in the county currently funded through SMART SCALE include installing turn lanes, improving pavement markings and advance warning signage at the intersection of U.S. Route 15 and Route 665 at Worsham with a total cost estimate of $4,989,509; reconfiguring the right hand turn lane from Route 307 to westbound Route 460 and reconstructing the intersection with a total cost estimate of $2,744,657; and installing dynamic flashers at the intersection of U.S. Route 460 at Route 626 with a total cost estimate of $216,955.

“It was all based on safety issues, and there were a lot of wrecks at all of those intersections,” Bartlett said. “(The Kingsville intersection) graded out high enough that it was chosen for funding by VDOT.”

“The construction of the roundabout on Route 15 at Route 692 will require the displacement of no businesses, no families, and no nonprofit organizations,” VDOT documentation cited. The documents noted that additional easements for utilities may be needed beyond the proposal. In the event of additional easements, “the property owners will be informed of the exact location of the easements during the right of way acquisition process and prior to construction.”

During the hearing, participants will be able to view project designs for the roundabout and offer questions and concerns to VDOT representatives.

For those who want to email or call in comments or concerns, Rosado can be contacted at Raina.Rosado@vdot.virginia.gov, referencing “Route 15, Farmville Road Public Comments” in the subject line, or mailed to 4219 Campbell Ave., Lynchburg, VA 24501.

 This article has been corrected from its original version.