Farmville roundabout project set for meeting. Here’s where it stands

Published 12:25 am Wednesday, July 10, 2024

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If you have thoughts about the planned Farmville roundabout, now’s the time to speak up. A public meeting on the project is set for Tuesday, July 16, as it moves through the design phase and starts to secure state funding. 

And in case this is the first time you’re hearing about it, the goal is to replace the traffic lights at the intersection of High Street, Oak Street and Griffin Boulevard near Longwood University with a roundabout. Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) officials believe the change would improve traffic flow and safety in the area. This would be a roundabout with a 70-foot radius and 10-foot truck apron, along with new sidewalks and crosswalks at the intersection. 

To be clear, the project itself was already voted on and approved several years ago by a previous Farmville town council, so this isn’t a meeting to decide if it gets built. Rather, this public meeting is set so that residents can give input on how the final product will look.

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This is happening because VDOT officials labeled the area as a PSI intersection. That is, an intersection with the “potential for safety improvement”. Basically, enough accidents have happened that it ranks as a safety concern. How many? According to VDOT officials, there have been eight reported crashes within the 250-foot buffer radius of the intersection within the last five years. 

“It is the judgment of the reviewing engineer that five of the reported crashes are related to the intersection and three of the reported crashes are related to the mid-block crosswalk, located on Griffin Boulevard,” the project documents state. 

Converting to a roundabout should reduce that number of accidents created by the intersection from five to 2.3 during the 5-year period, the VDOT documents say, roughly a 54% overall crash reduction. The engineer says the number of accidents caused by the crosswalk should also be reduced, as the project will move the crosswalk further south to provide “additional sight distance for vehicles stopped for pedestrians.” 

What would change with Farmville roundabout? 

Now in order to build this, some changes will have to be made. There will be detours and also some demolition required. 

“The project will require the removal of two unoccupied houses,” said Len Stevens. He works as communications manager for VDOT’s Lynchburg District, which includes Farmville. 

Stevens added no families, businesses or non-profit organizations would be displaced. Those two empty houses are the only structures that would be demolished. Also, the intersection would be closed to all traffic after phase one of construction, with all vehicles detoured. 

Now this isn’t a short-term project. In fact, even if VDOT officials move forward with the current plans, it’ll be years before any construction takes place. 

Currently, the schedule is for a public hearing on July 16, as we referenced earlier. Then right of way wouldn’t be acquired for the project until the Summer of 2025, with the roundabout put out for construction bids in the Fall of 2026. Under this schedule, construction wouldn’t start until the Spring of 2027, with the project completed by Fall of 2028. 

It’s already a project several years in the making. Over the last five years, VDOT officials say they’ve conducted surveys about the intersection in question and met with nearby property owners, along with Longwood University officials and representatives from the town.

In terms of cost, this will come in at $11.8 million. That breaks down to $7 million for construction, an estimated $3.5 million for right-of-way and roughly $1.3 million for preliminary engineering.

How to get involved

So if you have an opinion or want to ask questions about the project, there are a couple ways to do it. First, you can attend next week’s public hearing. That’ll be from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, July 16, at VDOT’s Farmville Residency. That’s located at 637 Commerce Road. Now if you miss that meeting, you have 10 days after the public hearing to still send in comments.

You can mail that to Jon Hall, PE, Project Manager, Virginia Department of Transportation, 4219 Campbell Avenue, Lynchburg, VA 24501-4801. You may also email your comments to Please reference “Farmville Roundabout” in the subject line and reference which project you are commenting about.