HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - People in Henrico who travel through the Springfield and Francistown Road intersection often complain about traffic, so the Virginia Department of Transportation is working to ease congestion at the intersection by putting a roundabout in place of the current stop lights.
Folks in the area say traffic is fine until it picks up at rush hour and is a nightmare to drive through.
David Bender lives about a mile down the road.
"We avoid that area between 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. at night every day," Bender said.
Bender is excited that the area will eventually be a roundabout.
"It will get people through faster," Bender said.
VDOT has been working on the plans for this project for a few years. Crews will replace the intersection with a single lane roundabout. They also plan to build sidewalks, crosswalks and pedestrian ramps.
"Our plan is to build the roundabout that will be better suited to handle the traffic in the future and improve safety," VDOT Communications Manager Bob Spieldenner said.
Since 2014, there has been a total of 18 crashes at the intersection.
According to Henrico Police, the breakdown looks like this:
- 2018: 1
- 2017: 1
- 2016: 3
- 2015: 8
- 2014: 5
Crashes significantly d ropped since 2016, possibly due to the implementation of the traffic lights that exist there now.
"Roundabouts tend to handle traffic better, they are safer and they reduce the amount of fatal accidents," Spieldenner said.
But not everyone thinks a roundabout here will help, including Janie Slayden, who has lived in a home next to the intersection since 1965.
"I think it'll make things worse," Slayden said. "I think the traffic light is much better."
The project will cost $2.3 million.
Construction is expected to begin in the summer of 2021. VDOT hopes the project is completed by the spring of 2022.
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