The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
VDOT issues remain for raceway
In its latest review of the planned Thornburg racetrack, the Virginia Department of Transportation again points out concerns related to traffic backups—all of which must be addressed before Dominion Raceway developers can start necessary roadwork.
Click here to read the report.
VDOT’s newest report on the Spotsylvania County raceway’s site plan, issued last Wednesday, cites several issues with the project off Interstate 95, including potential backups on I–95 off-ramps and a “substandard” left turn lane into the raceway’s entrance off Mudd Tavern Road.
VDOT says that lines of cars on I–95 northbound and southbound off-ramps near the raceway should be no more than 700 feet. But the raceway proposes allowing cars to queue up to 1,000 feet, which does not appear to be based on “engineering judgment,” Angela Foroughi, transportation and land-use director for VDOT’s Fredericksburg District, wrote in the site plan review.
“ . . .We cannot support the 1,000 [feet] without additional analysis from the consultant’s engineer,” Foroughi wrote.
Also, the proposed 325-foot left turn lane into the raceway’s entrance needs to be more than 200 feet longer, based on VDOT’s review. VDOT says the turn lane should be at least 545 feet if the speed limit is 35 mph along Mudd Tavern Road and at least 620 feet if the speed limit is 40 mph.
Foroughi of VDOT concluded her review by noting that the raceway must find another route to its entrance if the left turn lane backs up to a certain point and a traffic control plan doesn’t fix the problem.
Under that worst-case scenario, the raceway has agreed to pay for the design and construction of another route to its entrance.
Not mentioned in VDOT’s review is that the proposed entrance is about 450 feet closer to I–95 ramps than state guidelines allow. The raceway in January asked VDOT to waive that requirement, but the state agency said it couldn’t do that until the developer addressed several issues.
The raceway has not yet resubmitted a waiver request, which VDOT says may be required depending on what final plans look like.
Local attorney Charlie Payne, who is representing the developer, said raceway owner Steve Britt is making “great progress.”
Britt has said that site work could begin within a month on the privately financed project, which has an estimated cost of $14 million.
The 160-acre development is scheduled to open next year. It will include an oval track for stock car racing, a drag strip, a road course and a go-kart course. In addition to racing, it will host concerts, drive-in movies and other events.
Several people who live near the raceway site have expressed concerns about noise and traffic problems. The county Board of Supervisors approved the project in May, citing its economic development potential.
Jeff Branscome: 540/374-5402