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Recently Completed

Route 29 at Route 718, Culpeper Co.

Construction of a restricted crossing U-turn intersection

Project Photos

Project at a Glance

Begin Date
July 18, 2016

Est Completion Date
Dec. 9, 2016

Cost
$866,370 construction contract; $2.45 million total estimate

Lengths and Limits
0.3 mile; from 0.1 mile north of Route 718 to 0.2 mile south

Contractor
Chemung Contracting Corp. of Mitchells

Locality
Culpeper

District
Culpeper

Contact
Office of Communications
540-727-3201

Construction Information

The restricted crossing U-turn will open to traffic on the afternoon of Friday, Dec. 9. The project will finish nearly a month ahead of its scheduled Jan. 5, 2017 completion date.

Drivers on Route 718 who wish to access Route 29 northbound will turn right on Route 29 south, then make a U-turn at the new one-way median opening located about 900 feet south of the intersection.

For motorists on Route 29 northbound, a newly extended left-turn lane will provide more room for deceleration before reaching the crossover at Route 718. For southbound Route 29 traffic, the right-turn lane has been shifted right to provide better visibility for drivers waiting to enter Route 29.

Work began on the RCUT intersection in mid-July, and the Route 29 median crossover at Route 718 has been closed since Aug. 8.

Project Purpose

Due to an increased speed limit, greater traffic volumes and limited sight distance, VDOT has identified a need to improve safety and traffic operations at the intersection of Route 29 (James Monroe Highway) and Route 718 (Mountain Run Lake Road). In recent years, a significant number of crashes have occurred at the intersection as a result of motorists crossing Route 29 to turn left from Route 718. The project will address these safety concerns without stopping the traffic flow along Route 29.

The RCUT intersection differs from a conventional intersection by eliminating the left turn movement from the cross street. To accommodate this movement, the RCUT intersection requires drivers on Route 718 to turn right onto Route 29 and then make a U-turn maneuver at a one-way median opening about 900 feet past the intersection. The new U-turn crossover location improves sight lines down Route 29 and provides a dedicated lane out of the way of traffic for tractor-trailers and other large vehicles who wish to travel north. The proposed RCUT intersection will be among the first of its kind in Virginia.

With this project, the Route 29 northbound left-turn lane will be extended to provide full deceleration length. The right-turn lane from Route 29 southbound to Route 718 will be offset to improve visibility for motorists turning right from Route 718.

According to a recent study, the Federal Highway Administration found that RCUTs enhance safety, reducing crashes by 28 to 49 percent when compared to a stop-controlled intersection. Crash severity is reduced by 70 percent in fatal crashes and by 42 percent in crashes resulting in injury.

Approximately 27,000 vehicles use this stretch of Route 29 daily, according to 2013 data. The traffic count on Route 718 is 2,350 vehicles per day.

Project History

In previous years, safety concerns expressed by Culpeper County officials and residents led to the installation of advance-warning signs and flashers on Route 29. However, greater traffic and an increased speed limit have resulted in the need for additional safety improvements.

A 2011 safety study analyzed traffic volumes and crash history, including six angle crashes in a one-year period, and recommended adding a traffic signal. A signalized intersection design was originally presented at a public hearing on Dec. 4, 2014. Based on comments received at the hearing, VDOT evaluated an alternative design that is cost-effective, addresses safety concerns and can be constructed faster than a signalized intersection.

Project Schedule

Public hearing: May 21, 2015
Public comment period ends: June 1, 2015
Right of way acquisition and utility relocation: Fall 2015
Construction advertisement: Summer 2016
Construction completion: January 5, 2017

Project Costs

Total Cost: $2,450,000
Engineering of Roadway Plans: $750,000
Right of Way Acquisition and Utility Relocation: $200,000
Construction: $1,500,000

This project is funded by the federal Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP).

Resources and Information

New Traffic Pattern Takes Effect Today at Rt. 29/718
News release, December 9, 2016

Rt. 29 Crossover at Rt. 718 to Be Closed Monday
News release, August 5, 2016

Safety Improvements Coming to Rt. 29/718 Intersection
News release, July 18, 2016

Public hearing materials: May 21, 2015
     Brochure Adobe Acrobat PDF (429 KB)
     Comment sheet Adobe Acrobat PDF (88 KB)
     Aerial display Adobe Acrobat PDF (1.84 MB)
     Typical section display Adobe Acrobat PDF (88 KB)

Project videos on YouTube:
     Overview video
     Simulation video

Share Your Input on Rt. 29-718 Intersection Project
News release, May 12, 2015

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Page last modified: Nov. 9, 2017