Lou Hatter 540-717-2890
May 17, 2022
VDOT & FAUQUIER CO. FOCUS ON PROBLEM INTERSECTION
Short-term and long-term safety improvements targeted for U.S. 17 & Rt. 245
CULPEPER — The Virginia Department of Transportation, Culpeper District is engaged with Fauquier County leaders and citizens to tackle a serious safety issue at the intersection of U.S. 17 (Winchester Road) and Route 245 (Old Tavern Road).
From January 1, 2014 to November 10, 2021, 30 crashes happened at the intersection killing three people and severely injuring two.
VDOT has completed two studies of the intersection – one in July, 2021, and one in April 2022. The two studies can be found at the following link:
Culpeper District engineers coordinated with Fauquier County Supervisor Holder Trumbo and an advisory group of concerned citizens selected by Mr. Trumbo to take part in meetings to target short-term and long-term safety enhancements. These conversations resulted in several positive outcomes, including short term measures Culpeper District is ready to launch as soon as this summer, with current financial allocations in place. Those include the following:
- New pavement striping at stop signs for vehicles crossing or entering U.S. 17 traffic.
- Removal of extraneous signs which could distract drivers.
- Re-focus warning signs of the presence of the intersection. Includes the addition of flashing
beacons to the intersection warning signs.
- Install “Cross Traffic Does Not Stop” signs for drivers crossing or entering U.S. 17 traffic.
- Install rumble strips on Route 245 westbound well ahead of the intersection to warn drivers of the stop ahead.
- Install “optical speed bars” on the U.S. 17 approaches to the intersection with Route 245. These are pavement markings designed to serve as a traffic calming device.
After reviewing the recent study and with advisory group input, the County will consider submitting one of the long-term alternatives for VDOT’s SMART SCALE funding program later this summer.
The study outlined several long-term solutions, and recommended two as preferable: a Split Intersection - an interesting idea involving the redirection of south bound traffic on Route 245 to follow Route 845 (Old Winchester Road) to U.S. 17. It allows traffic turning off of U.S. 17 to continue to use Route 245 to go to Great Meadows, Interstate 66 and The Plains.
- Relatively low cost --$500,000
- Quickly implemented – 12-24 months
The second preferred alternative is an R-CUT design which allows traffic from U.S. 17 to access Route 245 directly, but forces traffic exiting Route 245 to turn right and utilize a U-turn to access U.S. 17 South.
- Provides the least likelihood for crashes by removing left turn conflicts
- Higher cost – $5 million to $7 million
- Best long-term benefit to cost ratio and most likely to achieve SMART SCALE funding.
Fauquier County and VDOT are planning a joint public information meeting to be held Tuesday, June 7, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Wakefield School.
VDOT’s Customer Service Center is open 24 hours a day to answer questions and take reports of roadway hazards. Call 1-800-FOR-ROAD (367-7623) or contact us online at https://my.vdot.virginia.gov.
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.