Lou Hatter 540-829-7537
Dec. 15, 2008
NEW WARNING FLASHERS TO BE INSTALLED ON ROUTE 29
Signal-synchronized lights will warn motorists approaching Ashwood Boulevard
The new flashing amber lights, called controller-activated beacons, will be synchronized with the traffic signals at Ashwood Boulevard and will begin flashing just before the signals on Route 29 turn from green to amber. “Prepare to Stop When Flashing” signs will be mounted with the flashers. The new lights will replace the flashing warning lights now in place.
Installation of the controller-activated beacons is the latest in a series of improvements that have been made along the Route 29 corridor between Polo Grounds Road and Airport Road. Earlier this year the speed limit was reduced from 55 miles per hour on the two-mile stretch of U.S. 29 between Polo Grounds Road and Airport/Proffit Road. The speed study done by the Virginia Department of Transportation found that the roadway geometry, increased development and crash history along the corridor warranted the reduction.
The improvements were recommended in a safety assessment of the U.S. 29/Ashwood Boulevard intersection following a fatal crash in early May. The eight recommendations from that safety assessment included the speed limit reduction as well as additional signs, pavement markings and flashing lights to warn motorists approaching the Ashwood Boulevard intersection. Brush and some trees along the road shoulders and median strip were cleared earlier this year to improve visibility.
“Safety is always VDOT’s first priority,” said Allan Sumpter, VDOT’s Charlottesville Residency administrator. “We believe that these measures will enhance safety and reduce crashes along the corridor.” VDOT is also cooperating with the Albemarle County Police Department and has made shoulder improvements along the corridor to allow the police to safely conduct enforcement operations and stop violators.
The new beacons should be operational in approximately six weeks, weather permitting. Construction should cause minimal delays to motorists using the road since most work will be done in the median strip. Some shoulder closures will be necessary; motorists are reminded to be alert when traveling through work zones. The installation will be done by Richardson-Wayland Electrical Co.; the project’s cost is $159,000.
Highway safety is everyone’s responsibility. Virginia’s highway safety partnership — the Virginia Department of Transportation, Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles and Virginia State Police — challenges you to help prevent highway fatalities. Buckle up. Avoid distractions. Share the road. Drive drug- and alcohol-free. Obey speed limits. For more information on the Highway Safety Challenge and things you can do to avoid becoming Virginia’s next traffic fatality, visit www.safeVAhighways.org.
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