Crafton’s Gate assessment begins next month

Published 2:54 pm Thursday, January 21, 2016

A formal road safety assessment is set to begin at the intersection of Crafton’s Gate and Kings Highway in upcoming weeks.

“We’re going to develop a working group consisting of members of county administration, a board of supervisors representative, county engineering and planning staff, an emergency services coordinator, a local law enforcement representative, a State Police representative and then representatives from VDOT [Virginia Department of Transportation], both district residency and our Southwest regional traffic folks,” said VDOT representative Scott Shippee.

Shippee said he is hoping to assemble the working group in February and conduct the road safety assessment.

Supervisor Garland Hamlett inquired if the assessment was akin to the VDOT ride-around, and Shippee said the assessment will be a completely separate project.

The study comes with a large number of accidents reported at the intersection over the years.

“The purpose of this road safety assessment is to get a group of people together to help identify both the problems and potential solutions to this particular intersection,” Shippee said.

He said VDOT is looking to eliminate any safety deficiencies.

The process will include creating the working group and taking a look at crash data for the intersection. The project information will be reviewed by the working group at a kickoff meeting, according to Shippee.

“We’ll all go out and do a field review out there so we can all have eyes on the same project,” he said.

The analysis will be conducted through VDOT’s Southwest Regional Traffic Office. The report will be prepared identifying issues and concerns that are raised, said Shippee. Finally, the report will be prepared and presented to the working team. He said a citizen information meeting may be held before implementation of possible solutions occurs.

“We’re looking to try to come up with a solution about this intersection,” said Shippee.

He said when the intersection was first built the way it was, it was to address a certain safety problem. ”Initially, there was a decline in accidents,” he said.