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Design stage of roundabout to begin

The Farmville Town Council learned that the design phase of a roundabout set for the intersection of Oak, High and Griffin streets would start at the beginning of 2020.

Rick Youngblood, VDOT district planner, addressed the council during its meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 13, explaining that the first phase included a study and a 30% design phase of the project.

“The scope involves the necessary data collection, stakeholder coordination, and engineering tasks necessary to deliver 30% plans,” Youngblood told council members.

“When projects are designed to be constructed, they are completed in incremental phases 30%, 60% and 90%,” explained Youngblood.

Youngblood says that “In this case, 30% design phase represents the first stage of design based upon current survey data and other pertinent infrastructure data such as water, sewer, and other utilities.

The 30% phase also covers all the basics, like the size and shape of the project relative to the roundabout, future utility placement, road alignment, etc.

Youngblood further explained that VDOT wants to ensure future needs are met to support growth and economic development as well as bike and pedestrian concerns. “The design will tie into the desire for bike accommodations along Griffin Boulevard and the linkage to High Street to Dogwood Trail and downtown,” he said. “The roundabout design will also take into consideration high pedestrian volumes and associated movements.”

The approval for 30% of the design plan is covered 100% by VDOT. Funding for the study was submitted under the VDOT’s STARS program. Under the STARS program, VDOT will perform traffic counts, look at pedestrian safety, etc. and prepare a footprint of the roundabout, a cost estimate, and possible funding options.

According to Youngblood, the anticipated period for completing the study and design effort is 12 months.

During the meeting, Farmville Mayor David Whitus asked Youngblood, “So when will I be able to drive on the roundabout?”

Youngblood replied, “We could see construction start in 2023/2024 with completion set for 2025.”