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Public hearing set for roundabout

A roundabout for Keysville is moving forward.

Resident engineer for the Farmville Residency of the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Scott Frederick informed the Charlotte County Board of Supervisors (BOS) Tuesday, Oct. 13 that there has been a public hearing set for the proposed roundabout at the intersection of Routes 15 and U.S. 360 in Keysville.

VDOT has set the virtual public hearing for Nov. 12 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

“The hearing will be held as a virtual/online event,” Frederick said. “VDOT representatives will make a presentation beginning at 4 p.m. and be present to answer questions after the presentation is complete.”

In 2017 the proposed $5.2 million roundabout at the intersection of Routes 15 and U.S. 360 made it through the second round of scoring under the new SMART SCALE prioritization process used by the state’s Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB).

Funding includes both state and federal sources.

“Preliminary engineering for the project is underway,” VDOT Communications Manager Paula K. Jones said. “Right of way is expected to be underway in fiscal year 2022 and the construction phase to begin in FY 2023.”

Supervisor Donna Fore who stated at an August BOS meeting that, “Americans have no idea how to enter and exit a roundabout,” asked Frederick, “Why wait and have a public hearing on a roundabout years later?”

Frederick who seemed stunned by Fore’s question said because the project is part of VDOT’s smart scale project, and they follow a system.

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,” county leaders said in the application to state transportation officials. “Sight-distance, as well as traffic flow currently contributes to driver error. This project will replace the stop-sign intersection with a roundabout to allow for a more fluid entrance and exit to the off-ramps as well as take the sight-distance issue out of the equation. This project will create a safer intersection. The Charlotte County Industrial Park is along the route of this project, and the Heartland Business Park is adjacent to the project area.”

VDOT said due to safety concerns and accident history, this project will improve the intersection with a roundabout concept. The most recent three years of available crash data, from May 1, 2013, to April 30, 2016, reveals that there have been five reported crashes along Route 15, from Route 820 (Pinecrest Road) to Route 712 (Horseshoe Bend Road), a distance of 0.66 miles. All five crashes were angle crashes.

Eight injuries and $38,000 in property damages resulted from the five crashes.

For more information on the public hearing visit https://www.virginiadot.org/route15charlotteco/