LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Lynchburg drivers may need to consider alternate routes due to a construction project underway Monday, Sept. 9.
Construction on a roundabout at Yorktown Avenue and Atherholt Road was set to begin Aug. 19 but was pushed back for unknown reasons.
During an interview with WFXR News about the new roundabout last month, Lynchburg Public Works Director Gaynelle Hart said roundabouts are the safest way to control the flow and keep cars moving because everyone moves in the same direction and there are no left turns.
“The left turns are the major point of crashes,” she noted.
City officials knew of five crashes at the intersection in three years, and many more near-misses at the intersection of Yorktown Avenue and Atherholt Road.
They conducted a study and ruled out a four-way stop.
“People either sometimes do not stop or ignore a stop sign,” said Hart. “The intersection is quite large. There was plenty of pavement, so we were able to create this mini-roundabout.”
She says roundabouts are less expensive to maintain over time, compared to stoplights.
While accidents still happen in roundabouts, they’re far less severe.
“Anybody that does have a crash, it’s more of a sideward glance crash and not either a t-bone or a direct hit.”
The Lynchburg Public Works Department urges all drivers to use caution while traveling through the work zone, be alert to the changes in traffic patterns, and obey temporary signage.
When announcing the project in August, the city estimated the roundabout at Yorktown Avenue and Atherholt Road to be completed in about 90 days.