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Route 1 upgrades planned in Thornburg


IN THE FUTURE-of-driving category, there are two interesting projects in the works aimed at using technology to create better planning for major traffic corridors (think Interstate 95).

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced last week that it will launch a pair of what it calls Integrated Corridor Management sites in the coming months.

One will be on a 21-mile stretch of Interstate 15 in San Diego and the other will cover a 28-mile segment of U.S. 75 in Dallas.

They will be the nation’s first such sites using what are called “automated decision support systems.”

The test systems will use pre-designed strategies to help transportation operators adjust in real-time to congestion issues.

The operators will get information from detectors along main and secondary roads, HOV lanes, light rail and the like.

Armed with such information, the operators will then be able to use “wireless and web-based alerts as well as dynamic message signs” to offer drivers alternatives.

The federal Department of Transportation touts the test systems as “living laboratories” in the fight against congestion.

If it works, maybe they’d like to try it next along I–95.

Dear Scott: I come through Thornburg around 5 p.m. each evening on Route 1 going south.

The light is a short one (the light for the cars coming from 95 is much longer and I understand that) but it would be nice to have a short period of green light for those cars turning east and west from Route 1 before it turns green to go straight.

Those two lanes back up quickly.

Can VDOT check into that?

Julie Young, Spotsylvania

While there won’t be anything done at this intersection in the near term, it looks like there are improvements coming.

VDOT’s Kelly Hannon points out that a planned $5.9 million project should improve the intersection of U.S. 1 and Mudd Tavern Road, which should make turns easier and safer.

The project will include improvements to current turn lanes and will also add new ones.

On U.S. 1, left-turn lanes will be added and will include a green arrow signal. The work also will improve the right-turn lanes on Mudd Tavern Road.

Hannon says these changes should improve sight lines and reduce crashes.

It’ll be a while before anything gets done, though.

Hannon said VDOT is working on getting needed right-of-way at the intersection. Utilities also will have to be moved.

Construction could begin in early 2014.

Scott Shenk: 540/374-5436