New traffic lights on Armory Drive nearly operational

Published 11:34 am Friday, August 25, 2017

The installation of new traffic lights at the Armory Drive/U.S. 58 interchange is nearly complete, and the lights will soon be operational. This information comes from Nina Napolitano, senior communications specialist for the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Napolitano said that today, Aug. 25, at around 10 a.m. the lights will go into “flash” operation. This is an interim transition period during which the signals will flash yellow in an effort to draw motorists’ attention to the new lights and let them know that the intersection will soon change from unsignalized to signalized. In addition to the flashing yellow lights, which indicate drivers should slow down and proceed through the intersection with caution, the left turns and side street off ramps will display flashing red lights, requiring drivers to come to a complete stop and yield to oncoming vehicles just as they would with a stop sign.

According to Robert Weber III, assistant district traffic engineer for VDOT’s Eastern Region/Hampton Roads District, VDOT’s plans to make the interchange signalized began in August 2014 after Southampton County officials requested the traffic lights be installed and a subsequent study by VDOT concluded that signals were warranted.

“They [Southampton County] were concerned about increasing traffic volumes and delays — especially trucks bound for the brand new pellet plant located not far south of this interchange,” Weber said.

“They believed that because of these delays, trucks were taking a back route to the pellet plant and subsequently tearing up the roads,” he said.

The lights will go into normal operation on Monday, Aug. 28, around 10 a.m.