Franklin County residents looking forward to improvement of deadly intersection

Meeting to discuss proposed roundabout to be held Thursday

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. – Emergency vehicles, flashing lights and people being loaded into an ambulance have become an all-too-common occurrence at the intersection of Hardy Road and Booker T. Washington Highway.

“I have actually seen, unfortunately, one fatal accident. That was very tragic," said Jackie Duncan, who owns a barbershop at the intersection. "Also, I do know the family and cut the father’s hair. So it really hits home for me as well. I’ve also seen three non-fatal accidents.”

On Thursday, VDOT will hold a meeting to get public input on a proposed roundabout at the intersection.

The meeting starts at 5 p.m. at Burnt Chimney Elementary School.

“I just don’t know if we’ve really got the space for that, but if it keeps traffic flowing and helps things to flow a little bit better that would be okay. Anything at this point, I feel, would be better than what we’ve got right now,” said Duncan.

She would also like to see the speed limit lowered.

“It is a 55 mile-an-hour zone and I see people, I know they’re going at least 60, almost 70 miles per hour through here. The speed limit definitely needs to be dropped, majorly," Duncan said.

Drew Crawford lives about two and a half miles from the intersection and has also seen multiple wrecks.

“They’re normally pretty bad wrecks. It’s a very congested area," Crawford explained.

The dangerousness of the intersection is something he thinks about whenever he has to drive through it.

“I slow way down, but you never know if you’re going to be in it. I’m sure everyone will be glad to see this intersection fixed," said Crawford.

VDOT is hoping for a large turnout at Thursday’s meeting.

“We want to promote some awareness that we are looking at this concept because the original project was really about putting in turn lanes,” said VDOT spokesperson Jason Bond.

If VDOT can get enough money from the state for a roundabout, construction could start early next year.

If you can’t get to the meeting, you can e-mail comments to jim.henegar@vdot.virginia.gov.