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2008-01-30 / Opinions

Winterfield roadwork needs explanation

Dear Editor,

Often plans look fine on paper but when they are put into place in the "real world," those plans fail. This appears to be the case with the new, revised Winterfield Road. During December, on the stretch of Winterfield between Westfield Road and Midlothian Turnpike, curbs and other features were added to this stretch of road.

An apparent "oops" was also added. Part of the way along this road when driving in the northbound lane there is a notch, not a curve, because it is too sharp and too short to be a drivable curve. The southbound lane of this portion goes straight, so when the double lines were put into place in the stretch of road, they look like the letter "P" when driving north. As this notch is not drivable, the vast majority of drivers ignore the added curved double lines and go straight, as they do in the other lane when going south - makes sense to me!

Indeed, when I first tried to follow the lines, my tires hit the curb, and I was convinced that it was simply a mistake that would disappear quickly. That was six weeks ago. As it would be expensive to redo the curb, perhaps someone could just get rid of the hump on the P, and both lanes would be straight. Future people traveling the road might wonder as to the purpose of the extra curvature, but the purpose of the notch has yet to be determined anyway. I am sure the school bus drivers traveling this road would be delighted as the notch is literally impossible for them to follow without going 5 mph.

Perfect plans on paper just sometimes do not translate well to reality. VDOT, step up and please do your duty to the residents of Midlothian and get us all driving straight.

Melissa Holly

Midlothian

Dale Totten, the residency administrator for the local VDOT office, responds:

This stretch of Winterfield Road is still under construction. What the motorist experiences right now is only a portion of the end product. The end product will be a roundabout. This project is not a VDOT or Chesterfield County project, but rather one being undertaken by the developer of the northwest quadrant of Winterfield Road and Midlothian Turnpike (under the auspices of a VDOT issued Land Use Permit). This project will also change the ultimate alignment of Winterfield Road. Based on the progress the developer has made to date, it is expected that this work would be completed during the upcoming construction season. My advice to those who have contacted me on this subject is to follow the advisory signs in place and to slow down.

As this is an active construction zone, we review the area quite frequently, and the residency staff is expected to review this area again with our Central Region Traffic Engineering staff in the coming days. Any adjustments to the work zone that are necessary will be forwarded to the contractor performing the work for implementation.

You can certainly direct any inquiries to the Chesterfield Residency, 3301 Speeks Dr., Midlothian, VA 23112, 674-2800.

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