Cartersville roundabout moves into next phase of construction

Published 12:05 am Friday, May 24, 2024

Things might go a bit slower around the Cartersville roundabout construction over the next few weeks. Speaking to Cumberland supervisors during their Thursday, May 16 meeting, Brian Locker said there will be some pieces closed and speed limits lowered as work continues on the Cartersville roundabout. 

Locker is the Assistant District Manager for the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Lynchburg Division, which includes Cumberland. First off, he said the speed limit around the work zone is now down to 35 mph. Also, for the next eight weeks, the road shoulder on Route 45 will be closed. That will start either at the end of this month or beginning of June, depending on weather conditions.

He urged people to take it slow when going through the work zone. The good news is that the project should be done this year. 

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“As of now, the project is still on target to finish in late November,” Locker told supervisors.  

Just as a refresher, when we mention the roundabout, we’re talking about the piece going up at the intersection of Route 45, Route 690 and Route 689. The goal here, VDOT officials say, is to cut down on speeding by changing the traffic pattern and speed limit. All total, VDOT officials say that intersection was the site of seven crashes between 2013 and 2019, resulting in multiple injuries. Officials say all seven crashes would have been less likely to occur with a roundabout constructed at the intersection. 

Over the last year, the speed limit in the area has been reduced from 55 mph to now 35 mph in 10 mph increments. The VDOT Smart Scale project is designed to complete these changes and wrap up construction in a two-phase process. 

Detailing Cartersville roundabout phases

We’re through Phase I of the project already. That involved installing permanent and temporary drainage items, along with material to control erosion and sediment. It also involved grading at the site and installing drainage structures to avoid flooding. Once that’s complete, we’ll be moving on to Phase II. 

Phase II, as you may have noticed, switches traffic to the new roundabout, while work continues. This involves work on the associated smaller traffic islands and connections.
The application for this project was put together by Cumberland County in 2017, received funding in 2018 and after a number of public hearings and local discussion, started construction in late 2023.