Michelle Earl 276-696-3283
Sept. 18, 2018
Safety improvements coming soon to Scott County
Two projects beginning in coming weeks
BRISTOL – The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will begin two safety improvement projects this month in Scott County along busy gateways between Kingsport and Gate City.
VDOT recently awarded a contract valued at approximately $1.1 million to Glass Machinery & Excavation, Inc., Jonesville, Va., to realign a quarter-mile section of Route 224 (Wadlow Gap Highway).
The project will begin 0.064-mile south of the intersection of Route 614 (Nottingham Road), located near the North Fork Holston River, and extend south .26 mile.
Most of the work will occur along the shoulder of Route 224. During construction, motorists can expect periodic flagging operations. When the project nears completion this spring, expect more frequent delays as crews tie in the new section of roadway.
The project is anticipated to be completed by July 2019.
A second safety project involves the closure of six crossovers on Route 23 between Business Route 23 (Kane Street) and Route 224 (Wadlow Gap Road). The closure of the crossovers will enhance safety along a stretch of highway that has seen an increase in crashes over a five-year period. The two Route 23 crossovers where left turn lanes are present will not be impacted because traffic data shows no reason for concern in those areas at this time.
“VDOT and the Scott County Board of Supervisors have been discussing the option of closing the crossovers without left turn lanes for a number of years,” Allan Sumpter, VDOT Wise Residency Administrator, said. “In light of the increase in accidents along this stretch of highway, we believe this is the best option to enhance safety.”
The majority of crashes along this section of highway are clustered around the crossovers where no left turn lanes exist, and most crashes are rear-end collisions and side-angle crashes.
A proposed Route 23 safety project that includes adding a left turn lane from Route 23 onto Route 619 (Filter Plant Road) is in the design phase and is fully funded. A public hearing for the project was held January 2018.
VDOT anticipates starting the process of purchasing right of way spring 2019. The project will be advertised for construction bids summer 2020.
In addition to the left-turn lane off southbound Route 23 onto Route 619 (Filter Plant Road), the project also includes a left-turn lane off Route 23 north onto a private road across from Route 619. There will also be a right turn lane added where northbound Route 23 meets Route 619. “Ultimately, the plan was to close the crossovers in conjunction with the project slated to begin in 2020,” Sumpter said. “By closing the crossovers a bit early, we have an opportunity to improve safety now rather than waiting a few years for the project to begin.”
VDOT anticipates closing the crossovers in late September or early October, once the needed supplies arrive and as weather allows. The closures will be accomplished by adding 3-inch curb barriers topped with reflective poles along each crossover. The work will be done during daytime hours, taking peak travel times into consideration. (END)
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