Approximately 25 residents attended a Virginia Department of Transportation meeting at the Essig Recreation Center on Nov. 13 to learn about the Route 220 Preservation and Improvement Plan.
VDOT spokesperson Jason Bond said while some of the projects have already received funding, the strategies in the plan are proposed concepts at this stage.
A study was conducted of approximately 60 miles of U.S. 220 extending south from Va. 419 in Roanoke to the North Carolina/Virginia border. The study area includes two limited-access bypass segments at Martinsville and Rocky Mount that are considered to be improved and, therefore, won’t be addressed in the study. Officials said they examined crash data, traffic volume and other safety data along the study corridor over a five-year period.
“This plan has been requested to identify investment recommendations that will help preserve and enhance this key transportation corridor due to the important role it plays in the region as a significant freight and tourism corridor serving Martinsville and a key facility for connections to North Carolina and points south,” VDOT planner Michael Gray said.
As part of the plan, 36 intersections have been identified, 17 of which are in Franklin County. Four of those intersections have proposed fixes, including the intersection at Wirtz Road and U.S. 220. The proposal at Wirtz Road includes a “Through-cut” that VDOT officials say would allow drivers more green time by restricting the through movement at the intersection and routing vehicles to the right to make a U-turn. VDOT officials said the resulting effect is similar to widening the road from four lanes to six but less than 10% of the cost and crashes would be reduced by 10% to 15%.
Other ideas proposed for various intersections include a continuous green-T concept and restricted crossing U-turn.
VDOT is looking for feedback on these proposed solutions. Comments can be sent to Michael Gray, 31 Harrison Ave., Salem, VA 24153 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. “Route 220 Preservation and Improvement Plan” should be referenced in the subject heading.
For more information, visit www.virginiadot.org/projects/salem/route_220_preservation_and_improvement_plan.asp. Click public outreach for drawings, comment sheets, recommendations and more.