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Petition seeks improvements at intersection
Road deemed unsafe by many due to poor visibility
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
By PAUL COLLINS - Bulletin Staff Writer
The Henry County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday received a petition containing 100 names seeking safety improvements at the intersection of Dyer Store Road (Route 657) and Green Hill Drive (Route 655).
The petition was given to David Kiser, assistant residency administrator with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT). He said he will look into the matter.
The petition asks VDOT and Virginia State Police to correct what it says is an unsafe intersection. It states that there have been multiple accidents and near misses due to vehicles not being able to enter Dyer Store Road from Green Hill Drive.
“The view is blocked by vehicles parking on state right of way. It’s only a matter of time before someone gets killed. Please see that something is done quickly at this unsafe intersection,” it adds.
Jerry Stultz, a spokesman for the delegation that presented the petition, said he knows of four accidents that have occurred at the spot.
Randy Ashby, who lives on Green Hill Drive, told of two near-misses in one week involving poor sight distance because of a vehicle(s) parked by the road. In one case, an oncoming motorist pulled onto the other side of the road to avoid a collision, Ashby said.
He said school buses, people pulling trailers, people driving farm equipment and other motorists travel through the area.
Reed Creek District Supervisor Tommy Slaughter said in an interview that in addition to the problem of a car or cars parked by the road obstructing vision, grading needs to be done in the area to improve sight distance.
Jim Adams, Blackberry District supervisor and chairman of the board of supervisors, told the delegation that he expects it will get a response from VDOT.”
Also at the meeting, the board approved Robert and Mary Gillespie’s application to rezone about 5.884 acres from Suburban Residential District S-R to Agricultural District A-1.
The Gillespies wish to keep cattle/livestock on this property, which is between The Great Road and River Road, directly behind 4094 The Great Road in the Horsepasture District, according to a board document. It lists the Gillespies’ address as 4094 The Great Road, Fieldale.
In other business, the board approved the priority list for the six-year road improvement plan for the Commonwealth Transportation Board. It is for the period fiscal year 2014 through fiscal year 2019.
The list is identical to last year’s list, a board document states.
The top five priorities are:
1. Support for the funding and construction of the U.S. 58 Improvement Program between Stuart and Hillsville.
2. Support for a connection from U.S. 58 to the Patriot Centre, a business and industrial park that houses nearly 4,000 of the county’s work force.
3. Support for the design, engineering, funding and construction of Interstate 73 through Henry County using the Henry County Alternative Alignment.
4. Improvements to the Lee Ford Camp Road/Greensboro Road (U.S. 220)/Church Street intersection in Ridgeway, near Mountain View Cemetery, to include signals.
5. Support for Martinsville’s request for Phase II of the Liberty Street improvement plan. (Kiser said the project should start soon and be completed in April 2014.)
The board of supervisors also requests attention for the following items:
• Realignment and improvements on U.S. 220 from the intersection of Virginia 87/U.S. 220 South to the North Carolina line, including the alleviation of hazardous curves on southbound U.S. 220. This project is essential to tie into the four-laning of U.S. 220 in North Carolina.
• Support for the four-laning of Virginia 87 from U.S. 220 to the Virginia/North Carolina line to connect with planned improvements to the road in North Carolina. The road becomes Highway 14 in North Carolina.
• Support for the inclusion of an extension of Commonwealth Boulevard to the west to connect with the U.S. 220 Bypass in the current long-range plan studies.
In other business, during his report on general highway matters, Kiser said mowing on primary roads has been completed and mowing of secondary roads should be completed this week. He also said there will be a lane closure today on Virginia Avenue near El Ranchito restaurant to repair a small hole in the road and related work.