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Aug 02

Six Transportation Projects Receive State Funding

Posted on August 2, 2016 at 3:42 PM by Bailey Howard-DuBois

Future Lila Intersection

On June 14, 2016, the Commonwealth Transportation Board approved the Fiscal Year 2017-2022 Six Year Improvement Program (SYIP). Within Roanoke County, six SMART SCALE-funded projects ranged in scale and style from an interstate highway to the Roanoke River Greenway.

A total of $1.72 billion were allocated to 104 projects within the SYIP under the SMART SCALE application and scoring process. SMART SCALE, formerly known as House Bill 2, is a system for choosing and funding transportation projects in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

According to the SMART SCALE website, “Transportation projects are scored based on an objective, outcome-based process that is transparent to the public and allows decision-makers to be held accountable to taxpayers. Once projects are scored and prioritized, the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) has the best information possible to select the right projects for funding.”

Auxiliary Lane on I-81
Interstate 81 will be improved with the addition of an auxiliary lane, northbound from Exit 141 to 143. The auxiliary lane would connect the northbound entrance ramp from Exit 141 to the exit ramp at Exit 143. Once completed, motorists entering I-81 northbound from Electric Road will have the option of remaining in the outside auxiliary lane in order to proceed south on I-581, thus not entering the main line of two through lanes. Estimated cost: $29.8 million.

Multi-modal Improvements on Rt. 419
The congested area of Route 419, Electric Road, near Tanglewood Mall will be improved with an additional southbound travel lane, plus bicycle and pedestrian accommodations.  One additional outside lane will be added southbound from Odgen Road to Route 220, Franklin Road. The new outside lane will terminate and become the southbound exit lane.  Pavement widths will be reduced in order to add bicycle lanes to outside (far right) of the travel lanes. In addition, sidewalks will be added on the Tanglewood Mall side, from Ogden Road through the Route 220 underpass. Accompanying sidewalk will be added on the opposite side of the street, from Odgen Road to South Peak Drive. Pedestrian crosswalks and signals will be added as well. Estimated cost: $5.8 million.

Adaptive Traffic Signals on Rt. 220
Traffic signals along Route 220, Franklin Road, south from Electric Road to Clearbrook Village Lane will be improved with Adaptive Traffic Controls. This system allows three signals from Valley Drive to Crossbow Circle to be managed through a software system to adjust signal timing priorities based on daily traffic volume fluctuations. The two signals at Buck Mountain Road and Clearbrook Village Lane will be coordinated through a similar system. This project is a regional effort as the first three signals are technically in the City of Roanoke, but will benefit Roanoke County as well. Estimated cost: $423,000.

Traffic Signal for Pedestrians on Plantation Road
The busy intersection at Plantation Road and Lila Drive is scheduled for safety improvements. A traffic signal will be installed to improve safety and access from Lila Drive, which serves adjacent businesses and homes. The traffic signal also ties into the Plantation Road Pedestrian, Bicycle and Streetscape Improvement Project, and will include crosswalks and pedestrian signals. Estimated cost: $1.3 million.

Roundabout on Rt. 311
Another busy Roanoke County intersection will be converted from a traffic signal to a roundabout. The intersection of Route 311, Catawba Valley Drive and Route 419, Electric Road will be reconstructed into a roundabout to relieve congestion and improve traffic flow.  This project will include access to a local business and park & ride. Estimated cost: $2 million.

1.9 Mile Greenway Link
Last, but not least, the Roanoke River Greenway, between Green Hill Park in Roanoke County and Riverside Park in Salem, will receive additional funding of $4.5 million.  This 1.9 mile link of the growing Roanoke River Greenway will connect one of Roanoke County’s flagship parks to the Salem portion of the greenway. The project includes two bridges over the river. Estimated cost: $8.03 million.