Earlier this month, officials from the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) provided attendees of a Mount Vernon Lee Chamber of Commerce Business Breakfast with an update on the Richmond Highway widening project.
The project — involving the stretch of Route 1 between Jeff Todd Way and Sherwood Hall Lane — has reached the end of its preliminary design phase and will culminate in a design public hearing on March 26 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Mount Vernon High School.
VDOT’s design project manager for the widening project, Dan Reinhard, P.E., shared some additional details about the project with Covering The Corridor. Here are 10 things to know:
1. As a result of intersection improvements, drivers making a right from Mount Vernon Memorial Highway onto Richmond Highway will have an exclusive right-turn lane. This is designed to alleviate the back-ups that occur now.
2. Sacramento Drive will be aligned across from Cooper Road to form a single, traditional intersection at Richmond Highway. This will necessitate the removal of several Woodlawn Center businesses that presently border Sacramento Drive. Additional details will be developed once the design is approved, and the right-of-way phase begins later this year.
3. VDOT design engineers are reviewing the possibility of locating a stormwater pond near the Bestway supermarket across from Frye Road. This would require providing a new way for motorists to access Mount Vernon CrossFit (in the former DAM Garage) and Master Roofing & Siding, as well as removing the Thai Herbs restaurant.
4. The south portion of Buckman Road will be realigned to be across from Mohawk Lane — cutting through part of the existing South County Government Center parking lot. A roundabout will be designed to connect this realigned portion to the existing Buckman Road.
5. For safety reasons, Washington Avenue will be closed off at Mohawk Avenue with a turnaround. Residents of that area will need to access Mohawk/Route 1 via Mt. Zephyr Street/Richmond Avenue or take Washington Avenue to Jackson Place to Radford Avenue to Richmond Highway. The traffic signal at Richmond Highway and Buckman Road is being shifted to Richmond Highway and Radford Avenue, since that portion of Buckman Road is being realigned (see image above).
6. Reddick Avenue will be shifted to align with Russell Road. Motorists on Russell Road will have dual left-turn lanes onto Richmond Highway, while Reddick will have a single left-turn lane onto the highway.
7. Buckman Road and Mount Vernon Highway will be realigned to meet about 200 feet south of where they presently intersect Richmond Highway, and there will be additional turn lanes and pedestrian crossings.
8. Pedestrian underpasses with ramps and lighting will potentially be added at Dogue Creek and Little Hunting Creek.
9. Since the project has federal funding, a noise analysis is required. Based on the preliminary noise analysis, barriers were recommended for Talbot Farm Drive; from Town Manor Court to Sky View Drive; from Frye Road to Blankenship Street; from Central Avenue to Shannons Green Way; and at Spring Garden Apartments.
A final noise analysis will be performed during the detailed design phase, which includes a vote by benefited properties. Properties are considered benefited if they receive at least a 5 decibel reduction in noise with the addition of a noise barrier.
10. The right-of-way acquisition process will likely begin later this year, once the detailed design phase is complete.