WATCH: Kingsville roundabout finally open

Published 2:05 pm Thursday, August 18, 2022

KINGSVILLE – Construction isn’t finished, but the Kingsville roundabout is open for traffic. Work crews removed traffic cones, warning signs and other equipment on Wednesday, Aug. 17, letting drivers experience the changes for the first time.

“The detour has been removed and drivers are now using the roundabout,” said Len Stevens. He works as communications manager for VDOT’s Lynchburg district, of which Kingsville and the surrounding area are a part.

One thing has changed even from last month’s plans. Traffic from Route 15 is now being fed into the roundabout, instead of driving beside it. The result is a much slower experience, easing the minds of some drivers. The Herald received several calls from residents over the last few days, concerned about having to come out of the roundabout and merge into faster moving traffic on Route 15. Now that won’t be an issue.

Stevens said the change with Route 15 was permanent.

How does it work?

The point of a roundabout is to manage and slow down traffic. VDOT staff estimate the fastest path speed a vehicle will travel while going through the roundabout. This is based off the speed that equates to the minimum radius on the fastest path through.

Traffic entering the Kingsville roundabout slows down and yields to traffic already inside it. Therefore, Stevens said, if the roundabout had been placed so that Route 15 continues straight through,  the fastest path speed would exceed the design speed of the roundabout and pose a potential safety issue that would not allow the traffic to slow down and yield to the traffic already inside the roundabout.

The work crews aren’t completely gone. Construction continues on things like masonry and aesthetics around the project, with all of that expected to be completed by October at the latest.

As for how it’s supposed to work, just click the video below and let us walk you through it.