VDOT to host Route 58 meeting

Published 10:35 pm Tuesday, March 19, 2019

The Virginia Department of Transportation will host a meeting Thursday to present its recommendations to make U.S. Route 58 more efficient and safer for travel along a 70.5-mile stretch from the Suffolk bypass to the Greenville County line.

The meeting on the U.S. Route 58 Arterial Management Plan will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Pioneer Elementary School, 150 Pioneer Road. VDOT held a similar meeting Monday in Southampton County and is hosting another meeting Wednesday in Emporia.

VDOT, which will present recommendations on potential improvements to Route 58 at the meeting, has collected traffic and crash data information along the corridor, and three public meetings were held in March 2018 to get residents’ feedback about the corridor.

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The agency says the corridor is important for tourism and freight transport serving the Port of Virginia, as well as its use for coastal evacuations and connections to North Carolina and further south. It was built, it has said, for high-speed and long-distance travel, but increasing traffic on the corridor has brought businesses to it, and with that, multiple access points and traffic signals.

Because of that, VDOT says those things have created a high density of traffic and a higher crash rate.

VDOT data from 2016 showed high traffic areas in Emporia, Courtland and Suffolk in the mornings and evenings, and data from 2014 to 2017 showed the same areas to have the highest crash history.

The goal of the plan is to reduce conflict points along the corridor.