Roundabout project stays on track

Published 3:50 pm Thursday, May 30, 2024

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The good news is that Google Maps has fixed at least part of the detour problem with the Keysville roundabout. The bad news is that it’s still going to be several months before those orange barrels and the overall detour gets lifted.

Brian Locker from the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) was on hand Wednesday, May 8, to give a quick update on the project to Charlotte County supervisors. Locker works as an assistant director for the Lynchburg District, which includes Charlotte County.

Previously, Google Maps had listed a portion of Route 15 as closed, despite the fact that’s where traffic avoiding work on the roundabout is supposed to be filtered. Instead, it was sending vehicles, including some much larger tractor trailers, down Cabbage Patch Road, which isn’t exactly built to handle those larger sizes.

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Thankfully for most phones, Google Maps has gone through an update and now lists Route 15 as open once again, so for drivers using GPS, that means no more 10-20 minute diversion.

As for the roundabout itself, residents can expect to see it open later this year. There have been a few things found during construction, some underground issues VDOT officials label as “challenges”, but they don’t expect any further delays.

“That work continues,” Locker said. “It is still on schedule for a November completion.”

Working around challenges is nothing new with this project. A portion of the roundabout was redesigned in 2020 after a VDOT virtual public hearing drew comments about a safety issue, with residents concerned about sight distance and traffic flow.


When all is said and done, what will this $5.2 million project look like? It’s already been a long time coming, with plans in the works for close to six years. VDOT officials believe due to the area’s accident history, the roundabout will improve the intersection.

According to transportation documents, the current intersection has a major road (two-way, not divided) as well as an off-ramp and an entrance leading to an off-ramp, all connecting at a three-approach stop-sign intersection that is in a grade curve.

That’s not a good thing.

“Sight distance, as well as traffic flow, currently contributes to driver error,” county leaders said in the original application, asking for state funds. “This project will replace the stop-sign intersection with a roundabout to allow for a more fluid entrance and exit to the off-ramps and take the sight-distance issue out of the equation.”

Six months from now, we’ll be able to see how it all fits together.