The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Improvements outlined for Harrison Road intersection
The U.S. 1 and Harrison Road intersection in Spotsylvania County has long been a frustrating spot for drivers.
The backups, especially during rush hour, can be brutal.
It’s also been a long time since talk began of improving the Spotsylvania intersection.
Orlando Davidson has lived on Harrison Road near the intersection for 30 years and said there was talk of improvements when he moved there.
He’s also seen the backups grow over the years.
“Some mornings, somebody’s gotta let me out,” he said. “Some evenings, somebody’s gotta let me in.”
Thursday night, Davidson and about 60 other residents got their first look at plans to fix the intersection during a public hearing at the Harrison Road Community Center.
They saw preliminary designs of the project, which would add a total of four lanes to the intersection.
Southbound U.S. 1 would be expanded to have three through-lanes. The northbound side would get an additional left-turn lane. That would create dual turn lanes, which also would be extended to help avoid backups. On the west side of U.S. 1, Harrison Road would get two left-turn lanes. On the other side of U.S. 1, Harrison Road would be reconfigured but have no additional lanes.
The preliminary designs also show the removal of Loren Drive on the west side of the highway. That road connects to Wallace Lane, where there are numerous small businesses. To replace Loren Drive, there will have to be a new connector road to Wallace Lane. There were two alternatives displayed at the hearing. The most-likely alternative would run where the community center now stands, which is farther from U.S. 1 than Loren Drive.
The ultimate goal of the project is to improve safety and traffic flow, said the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Kurt Kuppert, the project manager.
The estimated $22 million project is still in the early stages and there is no timeline for it to be done. It isn’t yet fully funded, either.
VDOT likely will begin acquiring right-of-way in early 2014.
While no date is set for construction, it would take between 18 months to two years to complete the project.
Kuppert said they will take the comments from the hearing and make changes if they make sense.
Anyone interested in making comments on the project can contact VDOT. The deadline to make those comments is March 25.
Scott Shenk: 540/374-5436