New detour set up as work continues on Keysville roundabout

Published 6:01 am Wednesday, October 4, 2023

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A new detour at the intersection of Routes 15 and 15/360 Business greeted drivers Monday as construction progresses on the Keysville roundabout project.

Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) officials said the new Oct. 2 traffic pattern for Phase 2 of the project means closure of different roads than the detour for Phase 1 that began in August.

VDOT District Communications Manager Len Stevens said the start of this Phase 2 detour was expected to begin earlier, but was delayed due a lack of availability of temporary traffic control signage, subcontractor availability and the weather forecast from Tropical Storm Ophelia. 

“This should not impact the overall completion of the project,” Stevens said, noting the expected completion date remains October of 2024.

He went on to explain what drivers need to know about the change in the road closures between the first and second detour routes.

The first detour that was put in place in early August was the closure of the four-lane section of Route 15/360 Business (Four Locust Highway) to complete storm sewer installation and build the temporary intersection configuration,” Stevens explained.  “The next detour (Phase 2) will include the closure of the on-ramps to Southbound Route 15/360 (Kings Highway) and the off-ramp from Southbound Route 15/360 (Kings Highway) to Route 15 (Farmville Highway).”

Detour signs set up near Keysville roundabout

Newly installed detour signage will alert motorists to the change and direct traffic along the detour, VDOT officials said in a news release.

Stevens said this Phase 2 detour will allow for construction of the roundabout to begin at the intersection. This includes the reconstruction of two of the ramps to Route 15/360 (Kings Highway). 

This Phase 2 detour is expected to continue through summer 2024, meaning those using the highway will need to make plans to leave earlier to reach their destination.

“The extra time involved with traveling the detour route will be approximately 5 to 8 minutes depending on which direction motorists are traveling,” Stevens estimates.

The roundabout has been in the planning stages since 2017 when it made it through the second round of scoring under the new SMART SCALE prioritization process used by the state’s Commonwealth Transportation Board.

A mix of state, federal funds

The $5.2 million project includes both state and federal funding, Stevens said previously.

A portion of roundabout was redesigned in 2020 after a VDOT virtual public hearing drew comments about a safety issue. Concerns surrounding the intersection include sight distance and traffic flow that contributes to driver error. Additionally, it is located near the Charlotte County and Heartland Business industrial parks.

With the new detour in place, Steven reminds motorists to be alert for new signage and workers in the area.

“Please use extra care when driving in the area,” Stevens said.

Editor’s note: Jeff Moore wrote this for the Charlotte Gazette.