HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Hanover County is finally moving forward with plans to install a new roundabout at the intersection of Creighton and Cold Harbor Roads.
The county says it’ll improve safety and save money, but commuters say it will only add to an already congested area, especially come rush hour.
“I don’t think it’s a very good idea because traffic is so backed up in the evenings,” says motorist, Ted McGraw.
Drivers say the intersection is a nightmare in the afternoon with traffic lights, and some anticipate a traffic circle will create an even bigger headache. That includes Mario Contreras, who drives through the area frequently.
“It’s a mile back up every time around 4:45/5:00,” he said. “It’s a lot of traffic and so it’s hard to yield the right of way, that means the Cold Harbor traffic will be blocked for a good while.”
Though plans are in the very early stages, the county says the roundabout plans are actually being designed to alleviate the congestion of evening rush hour.
“We found that a traffic circle would provide a better level of service and for about half the cost,” explained Hanover Public Works Director Mike Flagg.
Flagg says the roundabout would cost an estimated $6 million to complete as opposed to a conventional traffic signal intersection, which costs around $12 million. He says it would also cut down on serious accidents.
“If you do have accidents, they tend to be slower speeds, much less severe and the opportunity for t-bone type accidents are limited,” says Flagg.
Motorist Steven James Davenport agrees.
“The intersection is just overrun with cars, you know? During the busy times of the day so I think it would be a lot safer to have it here versus somewhere with just normal traffic.”
Meanwhile, others would like to see something else done at the intersection.
“I would like to see the roads wider and wider turn lanes and longer distance on the turn lanes would alleviate a lot of the problem,” says McGraw.
Hanover County expects to have design plans completed by next year and to begin construction by 2019.