Improvements on tap for busy NE Dinwiddie intersection

By: Michael Campbell | Twitter: @itsthesoup
Posted: June 10, 2019 | 1:45 p.m.

As county grows, VDOT keeps in step with road improvements

DINWIDDIE – State transportation crews are preparing to implement some requested changes along one of the county’s growing commercial corridors.

During their report to the Dinwiddie County Board of Supervisors in May, VDOT representative Scott Thornton confirmed that road crews will begin making improvements to U.S. Route 1 where it intersects with Ritchie Avenue and Simpson Road following concerns from local leaders and drivers trying to navigate their way through the area to the nearby Taco Bell.

According to Thornton, VDOT will begin their work next month through a “phased approach,” which will begin with the removal of the center lane striping and concrete median on the south side of the intersection, opening that area up to allow for a dedicated turn lane to be installed at the intersection to help with access to Ritchie Avenue and the Taco Bell restaurant.

Once that work is done, Thornton said new traffic signals would then be installed at the intersection as well.

The center island on the left side of this picture will be removed, allowing for a dedicated left-turn lane to be installed at the intersection of Ritchie Avenue and Boydton Plank Road. New road marking and signal will be put in place, as well. (Michael Campbell)

This project is just one of several that have taken place across northeastern Dinwiddie over the last few years as the more suburban corridor sees growth in commercial and industrial businesses, thus bringing more vehicles to the area.

In 2016, VDOT completed a series of improvements to the intersection of U.S. Route 1 and Cox Road and nearby Ferndale Road. The intersection of U.S. Route 1 and Cox Road was widened to better accommodate turning movements for vehicular and cyclist traffic. Less than a half-mile away, a single-lane roundabout was installed at the intersection of Cox and Ferndale Road, which also provides access to Westgate Shopping Center nearby, home to Food Lion, the newly opened Pizza Hut restaurant, among other popular stores.

“This $4.3 million project will improve the safety and traffic flow through the corridor,” said Ron Hobson, P.E., southern region area construction engineer said at the completion of the 2016 project. “We were able to keep roads open and traffic moving during the construction of both projects.”

“Being able to work together with Dinwiddie County, nearby communities and local businesses assured that the project was able to address localized needs for connectivity in the area,” Petersburg residency administrator Crystal Smith remarked after the work finished in 2016.

Those improvements will also serve to improve traffic flow to two new businesses along U.S. Route 1. According to county officials, the new O’Reilly Auto Parts store is slated to open in the coming weeks as much of the construction at the popular automotive parts retailer is completed and merchandise stocking is underway at the store.

Next door, just a short walk from Cox Road and the new O’Reilly store on U.S. Route 1, the transformation of the former campus of Southside Virginia Training Center continues as Dominion Energy develops their new headquarters on the property. Dinwiddie building officials report the regional energy provider’s new facility will be comprised of over a dozen individual buildings, including “a main office, a fleet maintenance building, vehicle storage buildings, and several more support buildings.”

Speaking to local media in 2017 following the unveiling of their plans for Dinwiddie County, Dominion Energy representative Rayhan Daudani said staff at their office in Petersburg along East Washington Street near the Tri-City Regional Landfill will likely begin moving to their new facility in the county sometime this year at the earliest.

When asked, Daudani said their current facility in Petersburg didn’t allow for further growth, while the 50-acre Dinwiddie site allows for expansion and the housing of key assets and other equipment.

For more information on VDOT’s projects, visit the transportation agency’s website at http://virginiadot.org.

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