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‘What, another traffic signal?’

Posted on Tuesday, March 12, 2013 at 10:38 pm

The flow of traffic may soon change if county leaders have anything to say about the matter. Specifically, this matter could change the traffic just outside the Town of Colonial Beach.

On March 11, citizens and county supervisors described their feelings about the intersection of Routes 628 (Ponoma Road) and 205 (James Monroe Highway) at the monthly county board meeting.

“A caution light is awful close to being useless in this day and age,” said supervisor Woody Hynson during the a presentation made about the intersection.

Fellow supervisors echoed that the speed limit needs to decrease from its current rate at 55 mph. Chairman Darryl Fisher even went so far as to say the speed should fall to 35 mph.

Supervisor Larry Roberson pointed out that the traffic coming from Hall’s Supermarket also poses a risk for drivers when they inch out to Route 205 when exiting. Currently there are two stop signs with red flashing lights on Route 628, then two yellow lights on Route 205 suggesting drivers go 45 mph.

“I didn’t even realize it was a suggested speed limit,” said Mayor Mike Ham, as all of the supervisors learned that it was not against the law to exceed the suggested speed. “In Colonial Beach, I’m used to just going 25 mph.”

David Brown, residency administrator for the Virginia Department of Transportation, collected their remarks and those from the public on Monday in Montross to assist with an upcoming study on what, or if, something will be done about the intersection. Brown said this effort came about when he was asked to look into the idea of slowing traffic or placing a traffic signal at the site. From his discussion, Brown said the most recent accident at the site came last December.

Currently there are only four traffic signals in Westmoreland County and a temporary light at Route 205 and Longfield Road detouring traffic from Tides Mill Road. Reports from VDOT said the bridge would have been opened on March 8. However with the snow that fell last week, the opening was delayed. Brown said he expects the bridge to reopen to traffic on March 15.

The study on the intersection of Routes 628 (Pomana Road) and 205 (James Monroe Highway) will begin after the Tides Mill Bridge reopens, Brown said, adding that VDOT would like to see the traffic flow and driving speed after that period of time.

Budget talks resumed after last month with a bit of news for both county and school employees. As part of the county’s latest budget news, county administrator Norm Risavi pointed out that his staff could see a 4.6% adjustment to the group health insurance renewal.

“It’s not good news, but better than the schools 12.3% increase,” said Risavi.

The meeting followed with the county’s second public work session.

In other matters, former supervisor Russ Culver was added to the Stratford Harbor substation committee; supervisors proclaimed National Crime Victims’ Rights week on April 21-27; agreed to advertise a public hearing on an amendment to prohibit dogs from running at large in Shellfield Shores Subdivision.

In a written report from Town Manager Val Foulds of Colonial Beach, the council has agreed, in principle, to move forward with the proposal to consolidate the Town of Colonial Beach dispatch operations with the County’s operation. An agreement detailing all of the costs was sent back to the Town following the board meeting.