Thursday, October 1, 2009

Gilberts Corner Roundabout Opens Today

Last of four roundabouts at Routes 15 and 50 in Loudoun County
gives motorists first look at improved traffic flow

The last and largest of four roundabouts at Gilberts Corner in Loudoun County will open today—six weeks ahead of schedule—to give motorists their first complete look at the project designed to improve traffic flow near the intersection of Routes 15 and 50.

With all four roundabouts open, motorists should begin to see better traffic flow and shorter delays during rush hour. “We realize that there will be a learning curve at first, since this is a new and very different traffic pattern,” said Kenny Robinson, Route 50 corridor program manager. “We just ask that motorists take it slow and remember to yield to traffic in the roundabout.”

After the morning rush hour, crews will remove traffic signals at the intersection, officially opening the new roundabout to motorists. They will also reopen Route 50 between Route 15 and Howsers Branch Drive, which has been closed to traffic with a detour since July.

While motorists use the new roundabout, crews will continue installing curb and gutter, ditches, drainage pipes, pavement, signs and topsoil. Over the next two months, they will finish lighting, landscaping, pavement markings, additional islands and truck aprons (sections of brick along the inside of the roundabout to help large trucks navigate the circle). The entire $15.8 million project will be complete in December 2009.

The Gilberts Corner roundabouts aim to improve safety and traffic flow along Routes 50 and 15. Four roundabouts have been constructed: Gilberts Corner, Route 50 and Watson Road, and at either end of Howsers Branch Drive. The direct link Howsers Branch creates between Routes 50 and 15 allows northbound Route 15 and westbound Route 50 traffic to bypass Gilberts Corner, reducing vehicles through that intersection by about one-third. Near the intersection, Route 50 carries an estimated 15,000 vehicles daily, while an estimated 11,000 vehicles travel Route 15 daily.

Roundabouts are considered one of the safest types of intersection, moving traffic while reducing crashes, delays, fuel consumption, air pollution, and maintenance costs. More information on Virginia’s roundabouts, including an instructional video, brochure and Gilberts Corner project information is available at

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