New roundabout opens in Roanoke County

Published: Jul. 15, 2022 at 6:02 PM EDT
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ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - Friday was the big opening day at the intersection of routes 311 and 419 in Roanoke County of a project years in the making, as we previously reported.

As a new roundabout opened, drivers were still trying to navigate it, and VDOT spokesperson Jason Bond says it’s going to take some time to adjust.

“With any new traffic pattern, it’s gonna take some time for people to adjust to it,” said Bond.

Bond says people need to go slowly, use turn signals and be aware of their speed.

“Pay attention to the signs and pavement markings and yield to the oncoming traffic that’s already in the circle,” added Bond. “This is not a three-way stop condition. You just need to slow down and merge into the circle when there is no vehicle approaching from the left.”

VDOT officials say this new design will help ease the traffic

“With this more efficient design it should improve traffic flow around this intersection,” explained Bond. “There have been times of the day, particularly peak travel times, where there is congestion around this intersection.”

Jubal Poindexter, who frequents this area with his daughters, is excited about the grand opening

“Well, usually we come down this way, pass the new All-State building, and around 4:30, 5 o’clock, the traffic, it’s too much,” said Poindexter. “So, usually I would skip an exit and go down one more exit to get home. But this way is just gonna be much more smoother and save a lot of time.”

But not everyone is excited. Barbara Geertgens does not plan to use the roundabout.

“I think it’s a big mistake because around here is not enough room. Tractor-trailers are gonna have a lot of trouble coming off 311,” said Geertgens. “It’s just gonna be backed up. And the roundabouts is just gonna make a lot more trouble. Me, I wouldn’t come through it. I’m coming the long way around... to come to the store here.”

Officials say the roundabout is safe for fire trucks, trailers and tractors to use. They also said there will be lanes closed at night as they still have some work to do and ask people to be cautious.

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