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    US 501 and US 221 Intersection Improvements Project

    The City of Lynchburg is proposing roadway improvements in the vicinity of the intersection of US 221 (Lakeside Drive) and US 501 (Lynchburg Expressway) to alleviate existing traffic congestion and delay, improve public safety, and accommodate anticipated traffic increases as growth continues to expand in the surrounding area.
     
     

    VIRTUAL DESIGN PUBLIC HEARING HELD

    A virtual public hearing was held on Thursday, October 14, from 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. in order to provide updated information to the public.

    This type of hearing is held once plans are completed to a stage that all right-of-way limits/lines (including easements), storm water management basins, noise wall locations, retaining wall locations and construction limits, and major design features are delineated and identified clearly within the parameters of the information known to date. Existing property lines, property owners, buildings, and other topographical data allow easy identification of impacts to properties. Alternate proposals on major design features may be presented.

    Questions and comments may still be submitted through Sunday, October 24 by sending an email to Heather Kennedy at hkennedy@cella.cc or by calling (434) 528-3041. All correspondence will be posted on the project website after this deadline.

    The Power Point Presentation link is below:

    The recording of the public hearing is below:

    Comment Summary & Responses from the October 14, 2021 Virtual Public Hearing

     

      Comment Response
    1 I see where traffic coming into the intersection from 501 is being re-routed, but what about the traffic approaching Lakeside Dr & Old Forest Rd coming from Forrest? 

    How will the changes alleviate that traffic?
     

    As shown in the scroll plan as shared in the public meeting, the current intersection of Route 221 with Old Forest Road / 501 Expressway is a “conventional” intersection with six phase signal operation.  This means, for instance, that the traffic signal controls the intersection in a manner per the following:
    • Phase 1 – the left turns for both eastbound and westbound have green light while all others wait. And then,
    • Phase 2 – one of those left movements turns red and the other will then move with the adjacent through movement.
    • Phase 3 – the left turns off and both through movements operate together.
    • Phase 4 – all approaches for eastbound and westbound are stopped, and then then the northbound and southbound left turns proceed simultaneously.
    • Phase 5 – one of those left movements turns red and the other will then move with the adjacent through movement.
    • Phase 6 – the left turns off and both through movements operate together.

    Between phase changes there are periods of yellow and all-red time, which result in significant amount of time when nobody is moving.

    With the new scheme, the two intersections (southbound 501/221 and northbound 501/221) will operate with only three signal phases.  This will include:
     

    • Phase 1 – One of the Route 221 through and lefts together, the lefts turn off and,
    • Phase 2 – both of the Route 221 approaches go together.  This turns off and,
    • Phase 3 – The 501 approach moves by itself.

    The advantage of less phases is that there is less “lost time” for each signal cycle due to signal phase changes.   See this link for more information:   Innovative Intersections and Interchanges - Info | Virginia Department of Transportation (virginiadot.org)

    Additionally, as noted at the link above, there are other safety benefits with this “innovative” intersection configuration.
     

    2 I only have a small concern for Wiggington Rd.  I think more people will use this rather to turning left from 501 to Old Forest Rd.  I always use Wiggington, and I think most people already do, so it is not a huge concern, but I don't think it was not built for a lot of traffic. 
     
    The current left turn count shows 8 vehicles in the morning and 12 vehicles in the PM peak hours making that turn. Our projections for year 2045 show 10 vehicles in the AM and 15 vehicles in the PM peak hours.   Under the new configuration those projected left turns will have to re-route as discussed in the public meeting.   If all of the vehicles choose to use Wiggington, so a maximum of 15 vehicles as currently anticipated, this would equate to one vehicle every 4 minutes.   However, if the Wiggington/Old Forest Road intersection becomes more congested in the future, motorists could choose to use the “circular” route as described in the public meeting.
     
    3 If we plan to spend this kind of money, would it be possible to consider putting in protected bike lanes and sidewalks? To improve pedestrian and bicycle safety the city is providing a shared use path along both sides of US-501 N between US-221 and Old Forest Road. Shared use paths are paved facilities physically separated from motorized vehicular traffic by an open space or barrier and are either within the highway right of way or an independent right of way. Shared use paths are used by bicyclists, pedestrians, skaters, runners, and others.
    4 When considering crossing points for pedestrians would it be possible to consider either a bridge or a tunnel so that pedestrians and cyclists are protected as well as you reduce the amount of pedestrian’s potentials slowing down traffic.
     
    Current pedestrian counts so not warrant a pedestrian bridge/tunnel at any of the three intersections.
    5 Is there any possibility that the engineers reviewing this design could consider testing traffic circles in the 3 major intersections? Roundabouts were considered during the Conceptual Design and Environmental assessment phases and determined to not meet the traffic demand required.
    6 Questions regarding 119 Whitehall Rd:

    What is the proposed with of the SE section of Whitehall Rd?
     
    Is the turn lane/lane of travel onto the SE section of Whitehall Road from the connector
    road engineered to safely accommodate a tractor trailer and straight trucks? Parcels that
    front on this section of roadway are Zoned B-5.

    Please correct the ownership shown on the public hearing documents for this parcel.
     

    Responses to these questions will be provided in the future due to ongoing legal review involving the subject property.
    7 Questions regarding 127 Whitehall Rd:

    How will this property access the new road way?

    How will a vehicular drive way and an emergency vehicle access be maintained during construction and after project completion?
     

    Responses to these questions will be provided in the future due to ongoing legal review involving the subject property.
    8 Questions regarding 109 Whitehall Rd:

    How will this property access the new road way?

    Please provide details and plan sections showing the proposed SWM pond that adjoins this parcel.
     

    Responses to these questions will be provided in the future due to ongoing legal review involving the subject property.
    9 Questions regarding 109B Whitehall Rd:

    How will this property access the new road way?

    How will a vehicular drive way and an emergency vehicle access be maintained during construction and after project completion?
     

    Responses to these questions will be provided in the future due to ongoing legal review involving the subject property.
    10 Questions regarding 115 Whitehall Rd:

    Please indicate the access point on the new road way that will serve this parcel.

    Please correct the ownership on the public hearing documents for this parcel.

    Please provide plan section showing the sidewalk and shared use path that will be located in front of this parcel.

    A site plan for the commercial development of this parcel has been submitted to the city.
     

    Responses to these questions will be provided in the future due to ongoing legal review involving the subject property.
    11 How will the on-grade entrance on the NE side of the NB one- way pair be made available for use by adjoining private property owners?
     
    Responses to these questions will be provided in the future due to ongoing legal review involving the subject property.
    12 How will this project enhance the vitality of the adjoining lands and uses on the NB road section of this one-way pair?
     
    Responses to these questions will be provided in the future due to ongoing legal review involving the subject property.
    13 Please explain the concept of complete streets and how it will apply to this project. Responses to these questions will be provided in the future due to ongoing legal review involving the subject property.
    14 Please provide information showing planned locations of utilities such as water lines, sanitary sewer and electric power, in the vicinity of, and along, the NB lanes of the one-way pair.
     
    Responses to these questions will be provided in the future due to ongoing legal review involving the subject property.

    Plans are available at City Hall, Engineering Division, 900 Church Street, Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

    ROLL PLOT

    Click here to view the roll plot.

    PROJECT AREA

    The study area includes: South of Breezewood Drive on US 501, West of Breezewood Drive on US 221, North of RR Bridge on Old Forest Road, West of Old Forest Road/US 501 Intersection, East of Country Place Lane on US 221.

    PURPOSE

    The purpose of the project is to improve safety, increase capacity, and reduce delays along US 221 and US 501, which currently present some of the highest levels of congestion in the City of Lynchburg. Continued commercial, retail and housing growth has pushed the intersection over capacity, as exhibited by delays experienced during in the peak hours of travel.

     

    SCHEDULE

    Click here to print schedule

     

    PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT

    A number of public involvement meetings will be scheduled to keep citizens engaged and gather input about the project area. Meetings will be advertised via postcard, email, media outlets, and this webpage.
    • Public Meeting held on October 04, 2018
    • Public Hearing held on October 22, 2019
     

    PROJECT HISTORY

    An Environmental Assessment (EA) is being prepared that establishes the project purpose and need, describes alternative solutions considered, and identifies potential project impacts, either positive or negative. The EA is being prepared pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (NEPA), in accordance with FHWA regulations for implementing NEPA and in coordination with FHWA, the Virginia Department of Transportation and in consideration of input from the City of Lynchburg community.

    As described below, the EA is available for review. There are several ways the public can participate in the NEPA and public participation processes and provide comments on the EA and the project overall.

    1. THE ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT
     

    The comment period for the Environmental Assessment closed on November 6, 2019. All public comments will be reviewed by the study team and FHWA and incorporated into a Revised EA, as appropriate. Responses to comments received during the comment period will be posted at a future date. The EA and supporting technical documents will remain available to review at the following links: 

    CONTACT

    Cella Molnar & Associates Inc., Public Information
    Heather Kennedy (434) 528-3041 or hkennedy@cella.cc

    City Engineer
    Lee Newland (434) 455-3950 or lee.newland@lynchburgva.gov.com