Keysville roundabout detour causing problems? Blame Google.

Published 1:28 am Wednesday, March 6, 2024

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To say some Charlotte County residents are annoyed would be an understatement. As work continues on the Keysville roundabout, there’s a detour in place for traffic to follow. There’s just one problem. Google Maps won’t acknowledge it. 

“A little portion of Route 15 is showing up as closed currently on Google Maps,” said Len Stevens. He works as District Communications Manager with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT). “Because of that, when people are following GPS, it’s routing them down Cabbage Patch Road and that’s obviously not a good road for a lot of traffic.” 

The issue, Stevens said, is that since Google Maps believes Route 15 is closed, you even have tractor trailers and some colleges following the bad directions, which has resulted in some vehicles getting stuck and others just flat out lost. And for residents, these type of situations turn what should be a 10-minute drive home into a 30-to-45-minute excursion. 

“I can understand people being frustrated,” Stevens said. “Obviously that’s not the detour route, but it’s just drivers following GPS. But that’s not a road built for tractor trailers.” 

Stevens said he reached out to Google and has put in a request for them to update Google Maps, to take away the road closed indicator for Route 15.  

“That should be a very short-lived situation,” Stevens said. “Google is usually pretty responsive, so we should get that corrected shortly. Hopefully this will get taken care of in short order and have people going the right way on that detour.” 

To help with the situation, Stevens added that signs will be going up this week, directing people to the correct detour. 

Talking about the Keysville roundabout 

Some residents, meanwhile, while annoyed at the detours, just aren’t completely sold on the need for a roundabout in the first place. 

“When I started driving in the 1960s, the Virginia Department of Highways was hell bent to remove traffic circles because of their danger to motorists,” said Cabbage Patch Road resident William Maner. “Now that VDOT has turned the intersection in Kingsville into a nightmare, they’ve moved on to Keysville to prove that first traffic circle wasn’t a design accident.” 

Plans for the roundabout have been in the works for close to six years, with VDOT officials saying due to safety concerns and the area’s accident history, the project will improve the intersection. 

Stevens said work so far appears to be on schedule. 

“I can tell you that we’re still on target for November,” Stevens said. “There’s a few things they’ve uncovered underground that have been challenges. But as of now, we should still hit that deadline.”