IW supervisors defer action on Channell Way intersection

Published 7:25 pm Friday, September 9, 2022

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Isle of Wight County supervisors have decided to wait and watch before endorsing a proposed change to an intersection in Carrollton.

Jamie Oliver, Isle of Wight’s director of transportation, had noted in June that motorists turning left onto Carrollton Boulevard from Channell Way must frequently stop at the break in the highway’s median and wait for a gap in traffic – blocking northbound traffic from Deep Bottom Road from crossing the four-way intersection.

Oliver updated the supervisors in August, stating that despite the difficulty, only three crashes had occurred at the intersection over the past three years, two of which happened in 2019.

The Virginia Department of Transportation had proposed three solutions based upon anticipated traffic conditions in 2045. One was to signalize the intersection and convert it to what Oliver called a “full quadrant” for $22 million to $26 million. She’d described the option in June as being similar in concept to what was done for the intersection of Benn’s Church and Brewer’s Neck boulevards when the Benn’s Grant housing development began building out. A scaled-back, $21 million-$23.5 million “partial quadrant” option would also add traffic signals to the intersection. Both options, according to VDOT, would achieve an estimated 10% reduction in crashes.

VDOT’s third proposal, estimated to cost $15 million to $20 million, was to create what Oliver termed a “partial displaced left-turn lane.” Option No. 3 would avoid the need for traffic signals and would achieve an estimated 20% reduction in crashes by cutting off Deep Bottom Road’s access to Carrollton Boulevard and turning the street into a cul-de-sac.

“I don’t want to do a knee-jerk reaction,” Supervisor William McCarty said following Oliver’s sharing of the intersection’s crash statistics.

Channell Way is one of two access roads that would connect a 52-home expansion of The Crossings development to Carrollton Boulevard. The other is Spadea Way, a new road already under construction that, once complete, will turn the three-way intersection of Carrollton and Brewer’s Neck Boulevards into a four-way one.

The development’s condominium and commercial phases are underway. The 52-home expansion is projected to generate an additional 491 average daily vehicle trips.

With the new Spadea Way connector road in progress, the amount of cars using Channell Way to get onto Carrollton Boulevard could actually decrease in future years, McCarty speculated, proposing that his fellow supervisors keep the Channell Way intersection “on the radar” while they see how the area develops.

Supervisor Joel Acree said he was concerned motorists would blame the proposed reconfiguration of the intersection in the event that crashes were to increase after the work was completed.

“With the numbers not being there, to do it and by chance we have a few extra accidents, you’re going to blame them. … I don’t see where the whole process is worth the effort,” Acree said.