20 January 2015
A new traffic pattern is planned for one of Fluvanna’s busiest intersections – the “T” intersection of Rts. 15 and 53 near the village of Palmyra.
About 30 Fluvanna residents attended the Virginia Department of Transportation’s public meeting on Jan. 15 to learn about VDOT’s plans to install a traffic circle just south of the bridge over the Rivanna River. Total costs of the construction are estimated to be $2.6 million, with $1.8 funded by cost-sharing between the state and Fluvanna County; $800,000 is already funded through other sources.
“Traffic forecasts for this were showing that in the future there would need to be a stop light,” said John Rose, project manager. “Virginia has a ‘roundabout first’ policy - we are supposed to examine how a roundabout would work in any area that is projected to need a stop light. This intersection was found to be a good location for a roundabout.”
Stacy Londrey, communications manager for VDOT, said that traffic counts show an average of 5,000 vehicles per day use that section of Rt. 53, and 6,500 vehicles per day drive through that section of Rt. 15. Much of that traffic is headed to and from the high school, she pointed out, and called the roundabout a “safe facility” for young drivers to use. The roundabout is also designed to accommodate the potential addition of a fourth leg should development take place on the eastern side of the intersection, across Rt. 15 from EW Thomas’s Grocery Store.
Rose pointed out that VDOT has kept an eye to the future in designing the roundabout; second lanes and even bypass lanes can be added in the future if need be. VDOT was careful to acquire all of the property rights-of-way necessary for future construction.