VDOT clarifies objective of Route 58 study

Published 11:18 am Friday, July 10, 2015

At a citizen information meeting earlier this month, the Virginia Department of Transportation explained to 17 people in attendance the details of the Route 58 Corridor Study. The study was initiated by the department to assist Southampton County and the town of Courtland with identifying and developing strategies necessary to support future growth along Southampton Parkway from Camp Parkway to Meherrin Road.

Data collected thus far includes average daily traffic volumes, average vehicle speeds and environmental factors, such as where wetlands are located and if endangered species are living within the study area. Using that information, consultants from Kimley-Horn have compiled a list options for how to deal with the possibility of increased traffic volumes.

Among the ideas discussed were a new alignment with a depressed median or concrete barrier, with a service road behind the businesses, and an access road that would limit through traffic.

“Any of the concepts developed by this study would still need to obtain funding, go through design and then move into construction,” VDOT spokeswoman Laurie Simmons said. “We are looking at short-term options (0-5 years), mid-term (7-15 years) and long-term (20-plus years). The options are not final; we are only halfway through the study.”

Simmons also took the time to discuss the “Preferred Interchange Alternative,” which Kimley-Horn representatives said was originally a part of the 2040 Horizon Plan.

“That is actually a current VDOT project, separate from this study,” she said. “The project is fully funded; we are just waiting on a wetlands permit from the Army Corps of Engineers before we advertise the project and start construction. This project is immediate, not part of the 25-year plan.”