'Superstreet' plan will transform Route 10
By James Peacemaker, Jr. Managing Editor
Apr 29, 2014, 14:18
CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS/CHESTERFIELD COUNTY This image shows what the intersection of Route 10 and Meadowville Road looks like after the transformation.
CHESTERFIELD — A multi-million dollar plan could bring big changes to Route 10 in an effort to keep traffic moving for major businesses in Meadowville Technology Park.
The $45.2 million plan uses a new trend called a “superstreet” that would eliminate through and left-turn movements on minor cross-streets and instead requires drivers to turn right and make U-turns.
Planners say the design will increase traffic capacity and driver safety while offering a comparable cost.
Route 10 currently has an average of 44,400 vehicles a day passing through this stretch, and that number is expected to grow to 105,000 by 2036, according to a December 2013 report prepared for the county by engineering firm McCormick Taylor.
On a superstreet, the two directions can operate independently of each other, making it easier to time signals. The superstreet intersection would have only two traffic signal phases while a typical intersection could have as many as eight.
The concept can be applied to a single intersection but an entire corridor works better because drivers get used to not being able to turn left onto Route 10, the report says.
The report show significant improvement for through-traffic on Route 10 but some left turns could see a negative impact due to the need to the extended route. For example, the left turning lane exiting CVS/Sheetz is projected to worsen by as much as 45 seconds.
It is recommended that Route 10 be converted to an eight-lane superstreet corridor from Interstate 95 to Rivers Bend Boulevard and a six-lane superstreet corridor from Rivers Bend Boulevard to Interstate 295. The intersection of Route 10 and Meadowville Road is being designed in a superstreet configuration, but the intersection of Route 10 and Rivers Bend Boulevard will have a conventional design until it is determined necessary by Chesterfield and the Virginia Department of Transportation.
The roads serve as an important truck route for the new Meadowville Technology Park, which includes major business such as Amazon, Capital One, Sabra and Northrup Grumman. The reports estimates that there can also be a 20 percent surge in traffic related to the Amazon warehouse between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The area is expected to grow as more businesses fill up spots. Another possible project is in the works just east of the business park on Bermuda Hundred Road east of North Enon Church Road. “Project Twister,” an as of yet unnamed business, could build major operations there. The stretch of Route 10 is also used by industry in Hopewell to get to the interstates.
The county has been working on a plan to widen Route 10 since 1999.
The reports says that heavy traffic have led to significant congestion and crashes, particularly at the Route 10 and Old Bermuda Hundred Road/Meadowville Road intersection.
The report estimates that travel times could be decreased on the superstreet portion of eastbound Route 10 by 10 percent. Westbound, that improvement could jump by 74 percent.
The superstreet intersection can be safer because there are fewer opportunities for cars to cross paths, according to the county. For example, an intersection in North Carolina went from 34 crashes in three years to just three crashes in three years.
Superstreets are now the default intersection design for their “Strategic Highway Corridors,” on high-speed rural divided facilities, and at intersections with a documented crash history. Superstreets have also been implemented in numerous other states including Maryland and Utah.
The superstreet will not come without a cost though. In all, the widening is expected to cost $45.2 million. That includes $2.1 million for engineering and permits, $12.6 million for land acquisition, relocation assistance and utility relocation, and $30.5 million for construction.
In the preliminary design, it is estimated there will be 111 properties impacted, with one commercial property and seven homes needing to be demolished.
Right of way acquisition is scheduled for late 2016 and construction could begin in early 2017.