Public comment on proposed safety project at Route 3 and Orange Plank Road in Spotsy

by | Aug 1, 2022 | Traffic

VDOT  invites public comment on a proposed project to modify the intersection of Route 3 and Orange Plank Road in Spotsylvania County to enhance safety.

The project seeks to improve guidance for motorists turning left from Route 3 westbound, and to increase motorist sight distance. The project is estimated to cost around $228,000, and would be funded through the federal High Risk Rural Roads program.

The public can view project materials and submit comments using an online form at https://publicinput.com/Route3andOrangePlankRoad

With this proposed design, the existing traffic signal at the intersection would be modified.

Left turns from Route 3 westbound onto Orange Plank Road would be controlled by a green arrow, and then a flashing red arrow to provide a stop control.

Orange Plank Road traffic would be prohibited from turning left onto Route 3 westbound at the intersection. Instead, motorists would turn right onto Route 3 eastbound to make a U-turn at the next crossover and then proceed west. By eliminating left turns from Orange Plank Road, this provides additional time for Route 3 westbound through traffic to proceed straight through the intersection on a continuous green signal.

U-turns would continue to be prohibited at the intersection for Route 3 westbound traffic seeking to travel eastbound.

New signs, traffic signal equipment, and pavement markings would be installed to align with the new traffic pattern.

This proposed intersection design is known as a Restricted Crossing U-Turn, or RCUT. Watch a video on RCUTs and visit VDOT’s Innovative Intersections page to learn more about this design, which is intended to reduce driver wait times, improve traffic flow and reduce conflict points that contribute to crashes.

Moving the stopping point for Route 3 westbound traffic turning left onto Orange Plank Road shortens the distance and amount of time required for vehicles to turn left and cross oncoming traffic, which also reduces the crash risk.

Installing an RCUT pattern is an alternative to limiting left turns from Route 3 westbound to Orange Plank Road in a protected phase. In a protected phase, drivers could turn left only when a green arrow is displayed. Due to the volume of vehicles on Route 3 westbound turning left onto Orange Plank Road, a protected pattern would cause traffic to overflow from the turn lane, creating an increase in the potential for rear-end collisions.

Comments will be accepted through August 12, 2022.

Comments may also be emailed to [email protected] or sent by mail to Ms. Jessica Graves, Project Manager, Virginia Department of Transportation, 87 Deacon Road, Fredericksburg, VA 22405.

Project information, including the National Environmental Policy Act document in the form of a Programmatic Categorical Exclusion, can be viewed online and at the VDOT Fredericksburg District office located at 87 Deacon Road, Fredericksburg, VA 22405, 540-899-4288 or TTY/TDD 711. Please call ahead to ensure the availability of appropriate staff to answer your questions.

If there are concerns that cannot be satisfied through this comment process, VDOT is willing to hold a public hearing. You may request that a public hearing be held by sending a written request to Ms. Jessica Graves, Project Manager, VDOT, 87 Deacon Road, Fredericksburg, VA 22405 on or prior to August 12, 2022. If a request for a public hearing is received, notice of date, time and place of the hearing will be posted.

The project would be advertised to potential bidders for construction in January 2023.


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