Supervisors mull road improvement options

Published 9:59 am Friday, December 12, 2014

During last month’s meeting, the Southampton County Board of Supervisors discussed intersection improvements near Newsoms to better facilitate right turns for tractor trailers from Statesville Road onto Cypress Bridge Road.

Microsoft PowerPoint - Statesville Road_Cypress Bridge RoadSupervisor Glenn Updike brought to the board’s attention that most tractor trailers turn left onto South Main Street and travel into Newsoms because of the narrow lane, as opposed to turning right onto Cypress Bridge Road and avoiding the town altogether.

“It’s a safety and convenience issue, and should be a top priority of VDOT,” said Updike.

Speaking on behalf of several citizens within his district, Updike believes that if the intersection was widened to better accommodate right turns that most truck drivers would opt to avoid driving through Newsoms. Traveling down Cypress Bridge would also make for a shorter commute for those traveling east on Rt. 671.

One roadblock in the project, however, is that Southampton County already has a six-year secondary road improvement plan. Without special considerations from the Virginia Department of Transportation, this project would have to go to the end of that plan. With special variances, the improvement of the Newsoms intersection would be considered a maintenance project, allowing the county to begin construction immediately.

County administrator Michael Johnson contacted VDOT shortly after the meeting and is currently waiting for a reply on the matter.

Paula Miller, Southampton County’s VDOT representative, said they “still have to take a look at it and survey the right-of-way at that intersection to determine if the shoulder can be widened to accommodate the trucks. It will take 30 days or so, if we don’t run into any extenuating weather conditions.”