It’s confirmed: Culpeper will be getting another roundabout in the next few years at a high-traffic, high-accident intersection.
The Commonwealth Transportation Board has approved $6.2 million in state funding for the project at State Route 3 and McDevitt Drive, accessing Germanna Community College’s Daniel Technology Center, the county’s future Career & Technical Education high school, industrial sites and planned technology developments.
A single-lane roundabout at that location ranked No. 1 in the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Culpeper District through the state’s Smart Scale prioritization process, and No. 22 statewide for safety.
“Due to increased traffic volume, reported accident history, and to increase economic development opportunities for the town of Culpeper and Culpeper County, a roundabout is desired at the McDevitt Drive and Route 3 intersection in the town of Culpeper,” a project narrative states.
To facilitate pedestrian movement, the project will include about 730 linear feet of sidewalks on the northeast side of the roundabout as well as crosswalks and a refuge island across its north leg.
From 2012 to 2016, there were 22 vehicle crashes within 300-feet of the McDevitt Drive/Route 3 intersection and 21 crashes at the intersection, resulting in 15 injuries, VDOT said. The most common cause (14 times) was a vehicle trying to turn left from McDevitt Drive onto Route 3.
Culpeper District Residency Engineer Mark Nesbit told the Board of Supervisors last week that the project is entirely state-funded, and that preliminary engineering would begin in the near future. The roundabout should be finished in November 2023, he said.
The project’s cost breakdown is $1 million for surveying, environmental and design; $1.7 million for right of way and easement acquisition and utility relocation; and $3.5 million for construction, oversight, inspections and contingencies, VDOT said.
Roundabouts are “innovative intersections” that should be considered at intersections – like McDevitt Drive and Route 3 – where there is heavy left-turn traffic and associated crashes. Roundabouts increase safety in that they reduce the number of points where vehicles can cross paths and eliminate potential for right-angle and head-on crashes, VDOT said.
The Culpeper Town Council and the Board of Supervisors endorsed the project.