The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Raceway files new traffic study
Officials with the proposed Dominion Raceway in Thornburg are attempting to allay traffic concerns in their latest report filed with Spotsylvania County.
Raceway consultant Bowman Consulting submitted a revised traffic study Friday that addressed a host of questions and concerns from the Virginia Department of Transportation.
It includes a traffic management plan for events drawing at least 2,000 people in the raceway’s first year of operation.
The developer’s proposed proffers—traffic improvements in exchange for a favorable rezoning—haven’t changed much. But the raceway is offering to design and construct another entrance if its proposed one causes too many backups on nearby roads.
VDOT in February cited several inadequacies with the raceway’s proposal, including the left-turn lane into its entrance off Mudd Tavern Road.
The raceway had applied for a VDOT waiver to construct that entrance just 280 feet from an Interstate 95 ramp. The state agency said it couldn’t approve the request at the time but would continue working with the developer. The raceway plans to submit a revised waiver form soon, according to its latest filing.
In the updated traffic study, the raceway agrees to terminate its left-turn entrance if traffic backs up to a certain point and if its traffic control plan doesn’t fix the problem. The raceway would pay to design and construct another entrance, based on its draft proffers.
Still, the raceway consultant said in its recent report that its left-turn lane into the site is adequate under all but one scenario. That worst-case scenario could be managed with the applicant’s traffic control plan, which would require up to four sheriff’s deputies to direct traffic, based on the raceway consultant’s revised study.
The raceway said it would pay for those deputies.
The developer says that 98 percent of its events would draw fewer than 2,000 people, though concerts could draw up to 9,000. In addition, the raceway says it would:
Pay to design and build a traffic signal, if it’s warranted, at the intersection of Mudd Tavern Road and the I–95 southbound ramps.
Have no more than two NASCAR-sanctioned oval track races per year on Mondays through Thursdays.
Raceway developer Steve Britt hopes to open the facility in spring 2014 on 160 acres at the northeast corner of the Thornburg exit off
I–95. If built, it will include an oval track for stock-car racing, a drag strip and a road course. The county has yet to schedule public hearings on the raceway’s request for a rezoning and special-use permit.
The Board of Supervisors, which has the final say on the project, is holding a public hearing Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in the Holbert Building on the raceway’s request for amendments to the Comprehensive Plan. Those changes would make the raceway compatible with that long-term guide for growth in the county.
Raceway proponents say the project will provide a huge economic boost to the county. Opponents—who have formed the Coalition to Preserve the Thornburg Countryside—have expressed concerns about noise, traffic and the raceway’s effect on property values.
Jeff Branscome: 540/374-5402