Planners work on intersection
Published 10:39 pm Friday, February 22, 2019
The Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization on Thursday approved requested changes by the Virginia Department of Transportation to the proposed Shoulders Hill and Bridge Road intersection improvements in North Suffolk.
City Manager Patrick Roberts said the cost estimates have not changed since they were presented at the public hearing earlier this month. During the public hearing at Creekside Elementary School, the city’s cost estimate for the project was just over $24 million. That number has not changed, Roberts said.
“VDOT was shifting some of their funding sources, and we were locking in some funding and scheduling milestones,” Roberts said. “This is a typical action when a large-scale project reaches the final stages of design.”
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According to the timeline for the project, the preliminary engineering work is set to end April 1, at which time right-of-way acquisition will begin for the project. That is expected to take more than two years before the nearly two-year process to construct the intersection changes begins in December 2021.
Though the total cost of the project — and the preliminary engineering cost of $2.9 million — has not changed, the costs have shifted a bit in right-of-way acquisition and construction. In a handout given to residents at the public hearing, it said right-of-way and utility locations would cost $8.7 million and construction would cost $12.5 million.
According to the revised estimates from VDOT, right-of-way and utility work would increase to $11 million, though construction costs would drop to $10.2 million.
The improvements would expand existing travel lanes on Bridge Road from two to three lanes, reverting to two lanes at both ends of the project. It would also add an additional turn lane to the two left-turn lanes from westbound Bridge Road to southbound Shoulders Hill Road, expand southbound Shoulders Hill Road from one to two through lanes, with a right turn into the existing shopping center. Another through lane on northbound Shoulders Hill Road to Knotts Neck Road would be added, along with a dedicated “slip-lane,” which does not require a stop to get onto eastbound Bridge Road.
The traffic count on westbound Bridge Road is about 35,000 vehicles per day, while Shoulders Hill Road at that intersection has about 17,000 vehicles daily. City officials estimate traffic to about double on Bridge Road, and increase by 50 percent on Shoulders Hill Road, by 2042.