Single-lane roundabout will promote lower speeds, safety
Construction is expected to begin in March on a roundabout at Woodman and Greenwood roads — the first of several planned in Henrico County to promote safe, efficient traffic flow.
The Board of Supervisors on Dec. 10 approved a $3.5 million contract with Abernathy Construction Corp. for the project. The company submitted the lowest of 10 bids.
The Woodman-Greenwood intersection will be converted into a single-lane roundabout, connecting with an extension of Woodman to U.S. 1. It’ll be the first roundabout built by the county; several others have been built privately. Construction is expected to wrap up in summer 2021.
A roundabout was recommended following a study that considered traffic flow, safety, property impacts and costs, said Todd Eure, assistant director of the Department of Public Works (DPW).
A traffic engineering consultant considered road improvements with a 1.3-mile eastward extension of Woodman. HHHunt is funding much of the extension, which will connect to Jeb Stuart Parkway, near U.S. 1, to support its River Mill development.
“The outcome of the study supported a roundabout at that location in part because of the proximity to the Interstate 295 interchange, so you don’t have traffic back up at peak times,” Eure said.
In addition to promoting steady traffic flow, roundabouts reduce the number and severity of accidents because they encourage lower speeds and virtually eliminate the possibility of high-speed, head-on or right-angle collisions, according to the Federal Highway Administration.
Motorists should maintain a speed of 20 mph or less as they approach and pass through the Woodman-Greenwood roundabout, according to DPW.
Because they function without traffic signals, roundabouts also do not present a hazard when electricity is out.
DPW recognizes that some local drivers may have limited experience with roundabouts.
“Our approach is that, if properly designed and located, single-lane roundabouts are pretty quick for drivers to learn and to navigate,” Eure said.
Motorists should follow simple rules when approaching a roundabout:
- Slow down;
- Follow arrow signs and get in the appropriate lane to exit the roundabout;
- Yield to pedestrians and bicyclists;
- Yield to traffic in the roundabout that’s to the left;
- Remain in the lane and use the right turn signal to indicate an intention to exit;
- Do not pass trucks, because they need extra space; and
- Clear the roundabout to allow emergency vehicles to pass.
Henrico has identified four additional intersections for roundabouts:
- At Sadler Road and Old Sadler Road/Innslake Drive, under design and scheduled for construction in 2021.
- At Sadler Road and Sadler Grove Road, under design and scheduled for construction in 2021.
- At Sadler Road and Sadler Place, undergoing a feasibility review and tentatively scheduled for construction in 2021 or 2022.
- At Williamsburg Road and Beulah Road/Nine Mile Road, identified but not yet funded.