Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Gilberts Corner Roundabouts Are Now Complete

Four roundabouts at Routes 15 and 50 in Loudoun County improve safety, traffic flow

VDOT Roundabouts at Gilberts Corner in Loudoun CountyState and local leaders cut the ribbon on four new roundabouts at Gilberts Corner in Loudoun County yesterday, celebrating a $15.8 million project that has already shown motorists better traffic flow and shorter delays at the intersection of Routes 50 and 15.

“Building roundabouts is a new and very different concept for VDOT in northern Virginia,” said Kenny Robinson, Route 50 corridor program manager. “This project is the result of a partnership between VDOT and the Route 50 Task Force to improve safety and traffic flow while preserving the rural nature of the area.”

Four new roundabouts were constructed — one at Gilberts Corner, one at Route 50 and Watson Road, and one at each end of Howsers Branch Drive, a newly built connector road. The direct link of Howsers Branch 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.

In addition to the roundabouts and connector road, the project features new lighting, landscaping, signage and truck aprons (sections of brick along the inside of the roundabout to help large trucks navigate the circle). A design-build contract with Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. and The Lane Construction Corporation closely coordinated design and construction to reduce the project’s time and cost — construction was completed in a little over 18 months.

The Gilbert’s Corner roundabouts are the second of three Route 50 traffic calming projects along a 20-mile corridor from Paris in Fauquier County to Lenah in Loudoun County. Improvements in Upperville were finished in December 2007, and a similar project in Aldie is expected in 2010.

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 and the Gilberts Corner project is available at http://www.virginiadot.org/.

photo courtesy of VDOT.

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