State-funded improvements at Route 211 and Big Oak intersection slated for 2024

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Food Lion Co-Op intersection plan

~ Press release issued by the County Administrator’s Office

LURAY, June 8 — Upcoming improvements at the intersection of Route 211/340 and Big Oak Road, just west of Luray, near the Food Lion shopping center, will enhance traffic flow and bolster safety for motorists in the high-volume area.

During the Page County Board of Supervisors’ work session Monday night, project manager Tim Gregory of the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) presented plans for the state-funded Smart Scale project, set to include traditional traffic signals as well a displaced left-turn intersection.

Also called “continuous flow intersections,” the design is aimed at improving safety by eliminating potential conflicts between turning cars and moving traffic more efficiently through the intersection.

“The Virginia Department of Transportation is committed to improving safety and mobility for all road users in Virginia,” according to the department’s website. “Implementation of innovative intersections and interchanges is one of the strategies VDOT is using to achieve these goals.”

Under the design, left-turning vehicles on either side of the divided highway will move into special traffic-signal control, turn-only lanes before reaching the intersection to make the turn. The design keeps more left-turning cars moving instead of waiting to turn when the lights are green.

Benefits of the design are three-fold, according to VDOT — improved safety by spreading out the number of potential conflict points where vehicles may cross paths; increased efficiency by establishing simultaneous movement; and better synchronization through the elimination of left-turn traffic signal phases.

In addition to the displaced left-turn intersection, the project is set to include two traditional traffic signals. The offset left-turn lanes will operate with flashing yellow arrows.

The $3.3 million project is slated to go to bid in December 2023. Completion is scheduled for spring 2024 — a year ahead of schedule. Improvements, which were approved by VDOT as a Smart Scale project in 2018, were accelerated in part due to communication with the department by the Page County Board of Supervisors and county administration.

Administration regularly notified VDOT when crashes occurred at the intersection, according to Page County Administrator Amity Moler, who submitted the project for Smart Scale consideration in response to safety concerns.

According to a technical memorandum issued by VDOT on June 27, 2018, a traffic signal was deemed justified at the Route 211/340 and Big Oak Road intersection due to its crash history, with 11 angle crashes occurring subsequent to the completion of the original study period between July 1, 2016 and June 25, 2018. Six of those crashes occurred within a 12-month period.

The study further found that six of the 11 crashes involved northbound vehicles attempting to cross the westbound lanes from the crossover; four of the crashes involved southbound vehicles out of the Food Lion shopping center attempting to cross the westbound lanes; and one of the crashes involved a southbound vehicle attempting to cross the eastbound lanes from the crossover.

When the Smart Scale project was approved in 2018, it scored 24th among 433 statewide projects and sixth among 70 district projects submitted that year for consideration. Virginia’s Smart Scale program scores planned projects and funding projects that meet one or more transportation needs identified in the state’s transportation plan, VTRans.

“Key factors the state uses to evaluate potential transportation projects are safety improvements, reduced congestion, increased accessibility, contribution to economic development and the environment,” said Moler. “The No. 1 issue with this intersection is safety, but the other, in 2018, was economic development, with Laurel Ridge Community College’s Luray-Page County Center being constructed, the planned affordable housing complex in Luray, as well as the planned Baker Development project.

“The number of people regularly traveling through an unsafe intersection was going to grow,” Moler continued. “The displaced left-turn lanes should keep traffic flowing and the new traffic light should eliminate a majority of the accidents occurring at the intersection.

“I’m happy the project will soon be getting off the ground and looking forward to safer travels for all who pass through the intersection.”

For more information on Page County, or contact information,




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