Virginia Department of Transportation representatives came to Chilhowie High School on Tuesday with maps and details about planned improvements at the town’s only lighted intersection.
The public hearing offered citizens and elected representatives the opportunity to see drawings of the proposed changes and offer comments. Written comments will be accepted until Dec. 14.
VDOT is planning to improve the intersection with Rt. 11 (Lee Highway), Whitetop Road and Rt. 107, where the town’s only traffic signal light is. Discussion began a year ago about needs at the site such as turn lanes, curbing and improved drainage.
As described by VDOT, “The project includes adding a left turn lane from Route 107 north and southbound onto Route 11 and radius improvements at the intersection that will provide additional space for large trucks to turn at the intersection.” The plans also include a turn lane off Rt. 107 northbound into the Food City parking lot.
Chilhowie officials say they are pleased with the plans and look forward to working with VDOT on the project.
An announcement in July 2017 that Smyth County had been awarded over $10 million out of $28 million made available in the most recent round of funding for VDOT projects in the Bristol district includes $3 million for the intersection in Chilhowie. The primary purpose is to lessen congestion and enhance safety.
VDOT will determine right-of-way and easement needs as the project design progresses. Right-of-way acquisition will begin in the spring of 2020 with construction bids anticipated in late spring 2021. Traffic will be impacted for about a year and a half while the work is done.
Written comments may be submitted to VDOT by Dec. 14. Mail comments to Ron Flanary, Project Manager, 870 Bonham Road, Bristol, VA 24201. Or, email comments to email@example.com , referencing “Route 107/11 intersection project in Chilhowie” in the email subject line.