All News & Blogs
King George and VDOT should work together
Visit the Photo Place
IS THE Virginia Department of Transportation wielding a heavy hammer in King George? That's what some residents and supervisors seem to think, at least in regard to a controversial project planned for the intersection of Dahlgren Road and Owens and Windsor drives.
The issue actually dates back at least 10 years, according to Supervisor Ruby Brabo. That's when the King George Board of Supervisors asked VDOT to look at safety issues along State Route 206. Somehow, the focus was narrowed to that road's intersection with Owens and Windsor drives.
After studying the intersection, VDOT found that most of the crashes there have been rear-enders, a problem that turn lanes would fix. So the agency devised a $4.1 million project to add the lanes.
But residents and some supervisors, including Ms. Brabo, are objecting, not only because of the excessive cost but because construction of the lanes as designed would require acquisition of 29 parcels of land and harm at least two businesses. They also disagree about the problem: Contrary to VDOT's study, King George Sheriff Steve Dempsey's review found that, of the 41 crashes at the intersection over 10 years, only 10 percent involved rear-end collisions. Most were angular crashes from people turning onto Dahlgren Road, not waiting to turn off of it.
The county, searching for a solution with less impact on landowners, asked for a traffic light. VDOT said one isn't warranted. Then supervisors asked that the speed simply be lowered. But that wasn't enough, apparently.
This past summer, King George supervisors asked VDOT to put the project on hold and reconsider its plans. The agency responded with a sigh of exasperation and a shocker: To nix the project, VDOT said, the county may have to pay back the $463,000 the state agency has already invested in it. That's because of a new General Assembly measure designed to keep boards of supervisors from reversing themselves on local transportation projects and wasting VDOT money.