VDOT changes traffic pattern for Route 45 in Cumberland

Published 12:39 am Tuesday, October 10, 2023

For months, the intersection at Route 45, 616 and 684 has been a topic discussed between the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and the Cumberland Board of Supervisors during the board’s meetings. Now changes have been made, in hopes of cutting down on accidents. 

Route 616 and Route 684 intersect around Cartersville and meet on Route 45 right when it makes almost a 90-degree curve. Previously, Route 45 had the through movement with stop signs on Routes 616 and 684. However, with limited visibility and drivers going above the speed limit, the intersection was a disaster waiting to happen, VDOT officials said. According to Len Stevens, the district communications manager for VDOT, the two routes come together on 45 at almost the same locations, so much so it looks like a crossroad when looking from an aerial view.

“At the request of the Board of Supervisors, we did a safety study on this intersection and presented them with several options: with the relatively low crash rate, take no action; adjust signage to make the through movement clearer or implement a four-way stop control,” said Stevens. “The board of supervisors supported the four-way stop control and we implemented it during a scheduled resurfacing project.”

A new change for Route 45

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On Thursday, September 21, the new traffic pattern went into effect. Now, all four ways have a stop sign at the intersection. Drivers traveling Route 45 should keep an eye out for a message board warning that the new stop sign is ahead. 

Drivers on Routes 616 and 684 also have message boards warning of the new traffic pattern but they still have a stop sign like before. Even though the traffic studies showed this intersection to have a low crash rate, the hope is that this could bring that number down even further and give drivers peace of mind when traveling through. At this time, this intersection change is expected to be permanent. 

“Thus far, we have received positive feedback on this project,” said Stevens.