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Opal Interchange, Fauquier County

Improvements to the intersection of Route 15/29 and Route 17 at Opal

Project Photos

Project at a Glance

Begin Date
September 2011

Est Completion Date
December 13, 2013

Phase
Under Construction

Cost
$12,645,120 construction only; $44,599,947 total (current estimate in Six-Year Improvement Program)

Lengths and Limits
From Route 687 intersection to 0.7 mi. south

Contractor
Shirley Contracting Co., LLC

Locality
Fauquier

District
Culpeper

Contact
Culpeper Communications
800-367-7623

Project Updates

VDOT completed construction of the Opal interchange flyover on Dec. 13, 2013. Some southbound Route 29 traffic continues to turn onto Route 17 south at the signal rather than using the flyover, causing a long queue in the left-turn lane and spillover into the through lanes. 

Since early 2014, VDOT has been taking steps to improve traffic flow and, most importantly, safety at the intersection. These include:

• Adding and revising the wording of signs to better reflect the traffic pattern
• Adjusting traffic signal timing/phasing
• Installing improved pavement markings
• Reaching out to GPS providers to include the flyover on their map updates
• Working with the trucking industry to inform drivers of the new traffic pattern
• Using CB radio technology to broadcast messages to truck drivers
• Using message boards to catch motorists' attention
• Monitoring traffic flow with a portable camera and periodic traffic counts
• Ongoing public outreach

Please assist VDOT by passing on notice of the new traffic pattern.
 

Project Purpose

This project will replace the current at-grade left-turn movements from Route 29 southbound onto Route 17 south with a grade-separated flyover interchange.

The project will improve safety and traffic flow at this high-volume location. The current dual left-turn lanes on Route 29 south often overflow onto the southbound travel lanes during periods of peak volume. This condition creates a safety issue since southbound through traffic traveling at highway speed must stop until the left-turning traffic clears the travel lane.

The flyover will allow traffic turning onto Route 17 south to exit Route 29 using a right exit ramp. The ramp will carry traffic over Route 29 south of the existing intersection, then allow it to merge onto Route 17. 

Traffic continuing south on Route 29 will not be affected by the project but should gain efficiency through the intersection since left-turning traffic will have free-flow movement using the flyover ramp rather than being controlled by the signal.

News Releases and Project Information

Flyer: New traffic pattern at Opal  (75 KB)

News release: Signal Adjustments Happening Jan. 28 at Opal
Jan. 15, 2015

News release: Flyover to Open at Rt. 15/29 and Rt. 17 at Opal
Nov. 7, 2013

News release: CTB Awards Opal Interchange Project
June 21, 2011

Schematic of interchange design (640 KB)

Opal Interchange Project Advertised for Construction Bids  (36 KB)

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Page last modified: Jan. 22, 2015