Just about everyone can recount a story of being stuck behind a vehicle on Route 3 that single-handedly caused a mobile traffic jam. This problem is particularly bad when headed east after passing Flat Iron Road, where there are no passing zones for that particular lane until after passing the road to Stratford Hall at Lerty. However, plans have been in place to fix this for a while now, and they took another step towards completion last month during a special meeting of Westmoreland County’s Board of Supervisors.
The Virginia Department of Transportation has been at work acquiring the rights of way needed for the construction of the passing lanes, even holding a public hearing on the subject in the summer of last year. At this point, plans had been reviewed and checked against state codes while land prices were researched for what VDOT had to do: they had to buy the property or property rights for the area. In this case, VDOT’s offer for the rights to the area to make their passing lanes came in the form of $5,600 after a study of the real estate market in the area was conducted so as to get a basis for the offer.
While the main plan was to widen the road between Potomac Mills Road and Flat Iron Road, another part included the creation of a dedicated turn lane for Flat Iron Road, so as to not hamper the flow of traffic after the drivers have to merge back into a lane.
The Board’s approval of the offer was quick and unanimous, paving the way for VDOT to continue working towards finishing the project. It remains to be seen how long the project may take, but based on the project from last year, the likely commencement of this looks to be about 2021.