VDOT has Clarke-Specific Traffic Mitigation Plan
BERRYVILLE, VA (Oct. 25, 2019) The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has a plan to reduce traffic congestion in Clarke County when the Town of Hillsboro in western Loudoun County begins a major construction project next year.
Hillsboro plans to install roundabouts and other traffic-calming measures along Charles Town Pike (Va. 9). Engineers say the project could result in as many as 10,000 more vehicles per day using the already heavily traveled Va. 7 and U.S. 340 in Clarke County.
Construction may start in early 2020, but detours that will specifically point traffic to Clarke County are not anticipated before April or May, according to VDOT and Hillsboro officials. The full effect of detours around Hillsboro cannot be determined until the project starts, so VDOT will monitor changes in traffic patterns in Clarke and revise its traffic mitigation plan as necessary. The VDOT plan for Clarke County is based on current data analysis.
• Increased law enforcement: Speeding is a major concern with existing traffic. It is anticipated that instances of speeding will be amplified with the increased traffic from the detour. Funds have been approved for dedicated law enforcement along the detour route during the construction phase of the project.
• Signal modifications U.S. 340 & Va. 7 intersection: Both left turn movements from U.S. 340 south onto Va. 7 east and U.S. 340 north onto Va. 7 west will be upgraded to “flashing yellow” operation. This will allow left-turning vehicles to proceed after yielding to oncoming traffic when the oncoming traffic has a green signal indication. The three signals will have equipment installed establishing high-speed communications, allowing continuous monitoring of the intersection and live signal-timing adjustments based on changing traffic conditions.
• Widening west-bound Va. 7 off ramp at U.S. 340: The Va. 7 off-ramp will be widened for 500-feet at U.S. 340 to establish two lanes on the ramp. This will allow continuous right turns onto U.S. 340 north and alleviate stacking on the ramp during evening peak-hour traffic.
• Mitigate cut-through traffic on Rt. 612 during peak hours: Restrict Rt. 612 to “Local Traffic Only.” Prohibit left turns onto Rt. 612 from U.S. 340 southbound (north of Berryville) during morning peak traffic. Prohibit right turns onto Rt. 612 from Va. 7 westbound (east of Berryville) during evening peak traffic. Establish traffic count stations to monitor traffic counts on Rt. 612 throughout the project.
• Upgrade warning lights at Va. 7 and Rt. 601: Dynamic warning flashers will be installed eastbound and westbound on Va. 7 to detect vehicles on Rt. 601 attempting to enter the intersection. These flashers will activate only when the vehicle approaches the intersection instead of continuously as they do now. Law enforcement will be stationed at the intersection with emergency lights activated as needed.