LaTina W. Bundy 540-899-4560

Kelly Hannon 540-374-3344


Aug. 4, 2011

Vehicles can access new turn lanes as construction project to enhance safety nears completion

FREDERICKSBURG—The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has opened all travel lanes at the Route 17 Gloucester Point Improvement Project, clearing the way for motorists to enter new turn and travel lanes that have been under construction.

Following final construction and traffic engineering inspections, VDOT approved the project for travel. Permanent 45 mph speed limit signs have been uncovered along Route 17, which is a change from the temporary speed limit of 35 mph that was in place during construction.

The Gloucester Point Improvement Project built several new safety features along a 1.3 mile section of Route 17, just north of the toll plaza for the George P. Coleman Bridge:

• A continuous right turn lane was added on northbound and southbound Route 17 to remove turning vehicles from the general travel lanes.  
• On northbound and southbound Route 17, dedicated left turn lanes were added at the intersections with Lafayette Heights Road, and Camp Okee Drive and Greate Road. A center lane in the median of Route 17 for left turns was eliminated, lowering the crash risk for motorists who previously had to assess the speed and distance of oncoming traffic as they crossed multiple travel lanes. Studies of crashes in the corridor indicate this was a major safety issue.
• A left turn jug-handle was built to accommodate U-turns from southbound to northbound Route 17 just prior to the Coleman Bridge.
• A raised concrete median with a herringbone brick pattern was installed to divide northbound and southbound traffic, and provide a gateway appearance to Gloucester County. The raised median improves safety by separating opposing traffic on Route 17.
• At the conclusion of work, new pavement surface was added on Route 17.
• A new traffic signal was installed at the intersection of Camp Okee Drive and Greate Road, where the intersection was realigned to meet Route 17 at a perpendicular angle, improving safety.
• Timing on the new traffic signal at Camp Okee Drive and Greate Road, and an upgraded signal at Lafayette Heights Road, were both coordinated with the remainder of the Route 17 signals in the Gloucester Point area.

“We appreciate the cooperation and patience of travelers that allowed us to deliver a safer lane configuration for motorists traveling along Route 17 in the Gloucester Point area,” said Tom Druhot, P.E., VDOT Area Construction Engineer. “Building a continuous right turn lane for northbound Route 17 will keep the general travel lanes available for through traffic. The project has also made it safer for southbound Route 17 traffic to turn left across the northbound lanes to reach businesses. This new configuration should prevent crashes and the personal injuries, property damage and traffic delays that can accompany such incidents.”

Motorists may observe some final construction activities as minor work finishes up before the project completion date of October 31, 2011.

A $5.8 million contract for construction of the project was awarded to Branscome Inc., of Williamsburg in November 2008. Construction began in February 2009.


Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.

Page last modified: Oct. 17, 2012