CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) In Christiansburg, a lot of changes are underway along major thoroughfares. It has many residents asking how much longer the construction will be going on.
The first major project is on N. Franklin Street near the Christiansburg Recreation Center.
From AIR7's vantage point you can see where drivers coming from 460 Business can only turn right or go straight at the Cambria Street intersection. Meanwhile drivers from Route 460 can only turn left or go straight at that intersection.
Wayne Nelson, the town's engineering director said this is all about to change by next summer.
"We are taking that fifth leg of that intersection off and intersecting with the 460 bypass ramp with a new signal there," he said.
That's the first of three new traffic signals that will be added or changed on N. Franklin. The second is at Cambria and N. Franklin.
"A picture's worth a thousand words and a simulation is worth a million words," Nelson laughed pulling up a simulation of the new intersection.
"You can see the stop condition here at the intersection and soon the signal will change and this traffic coming off the bypass will be allowed through. This turns green and that allows everyone to pass through the intersection."
Further down there will be a third stoplight added at the intersection of Patrick's Way and N. Franklin. Sidewalks and streetlights will also be added along both sides of the road.
"We're promoting pedestrian access through town anywhere we can," Nelson said. "I hope it gives N. Franklin the face lift we're looking for and support the businesses out there."
Access management is what the N. Franklin project and the other road projects are focusing on improving.
"We're eliminating conflict points between vehicles," Nelson explained. "We're closing entrances and we have controlled access points at intersections with signalized intersections that will allow traffic to move from one travel way to another."
Roanoke St. is another one of the major roads getting an upgrade at the intersection of Falling Branch Road. This section often gets backed up on Sundays.
"When Church lets out and another service is coming in, our police department has been very gracious and very helpful," he said.
However, it's not an ideal situation so Nelson hopes that by Thanksgiving, construction here will be completely finished with a new entry point into the Gateway Plaza shopping center.
"We have consolidated the new entrance but it's not signalized yet," he said.
There will also be a right in, right out entrance closer to the bypass. Nelson urges vehicles to continue to drive safely while the construction is still taking place.
"Use caution, look twice, be safe."
Despite the confusion and hassle these updates can sometimes cause, Nelson said the end result will be worth it.
"We're willing to make the investment in our infrastructure for the travelling public and to improve safety. That's our thing, improving safety."
The Roanoke St. project will cost about $2.2. million and is being split about 50/50 between the town and VDOT. Nelson said if all goes according to plan, they'll be done with everything this November.
Meanwhile, the N. Franklin St. renovations is about an $8.5 million project. $8.3 million of that was provided through a VDOT grant. The town has paid $13,000. Nelson said everything should be done in June 2020.
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