By Greg Pearson
BCA Board member
The Chesterfield Department of Transportation (CDOT) is proposing nine different projects whose major goal is to speed up east and westbound traffic between Route 288 and Woodlake, a major bottleneck in the county’s road system. While the projects are in various stages of implementation, funding sources for those improvements to the tune of $500 million plus have not yet been identified. Chesterfield itself relies on state revenue with occasional federal support since the county’s road network is owned and must be approved by the Virginia Department of Transportation.
CDOT recognizes the traffic counts in that corridor, now about 70,000 vehicles on average per day, will be increasing to over 100,000 daily by 2040.
The long-awaited off-ramp from Route 288 southbound to Route 360 westbound is now slated to begin construction this coming summer. To the tune of $22.8 million, the existing off-ramp will be extended 3,000 feet and a second off-ramp lane will be added. The current off-ramp from Rt. 288 has been a major safety issue with lengthy backups during afternoon rush hour for many years.
Now in the right-of-way acquisition stage but also scheduled for construction next year, a connector road south from Brad McNeer Parkway to Bailey Bridge Road will cost $23 million. In that vicinity, three roundabouts will be built on Brad McNeer, including the aforementioned intersection and at Commonwealth Centre Parkway.
CDOT is proposing a counterintuitive solution for vehicles outbound onto Rt. 360 from Harbor Pointe Parkway/Mockingbird Lane, Deer Run Drive/Harbour View Court, Chital Drive, North Spring Run Road/Temmie Lee Parkway, Winterpock Road, and Duckridge Boulevard/Hancock Village Drive. Those vehicles will only be able to turn right onto Rt.360 even if they want to go in the other direction. In order to go the other direction on Rt. 360, they will be able to able to make a u-turn in the median strip to reverse direction. Those u-turn options may or may not be signalized.
According to Chessa Walker, assistant director of CDOT, such a maneuver will save time for all drivers since less time will be spent at traffic lights waiting for all the light changes to occur. Those u-turns will be about 800 feet away from the traffic lights when they went the opposite direction. Walker made the CDOT presentation to members of the Brandermill Regional Men’s Club in early November. To see her PowerPoint, click here.
According to Walker, a proposed extension to the Powhite Parkway from just west of the Brandermill Parkway to Rt. 360 near the Richmond Metro Zoo would not help drivers south of Rt. 360. Extending the Powhite would cost an estimated $700 million in today’s dollars.
To encourage interested commuters to share a ride to work, a park-and-ride lot is proposed behind the Chesterfield Technical Center on Rt. 360. Ridefinders would put commuters together.