The Virginia Department of Transportation will hold a public hearing concerning improvements to Route 720 (Smithland Road) in Rockingham County. The meeting will take place from 4 to 6 p.m., Thursday, May 7, at the VDOT Harrisonburg Residency Office located at 3536 North Valley Pike, Harrisonburg.
Citizens can come in during the meeting hours and discuss the project on a one-on-one basis with VDOT officials and designers. Written comments can be submitted at the meeting or within 10 days after the meeting date to Mr. Ronald Tabor, Project Manager. Virginia Department of Transportation, 811 Commerce Road, Staunton, VA 24401-9029. Oral comments can be recorded at the meeting with the assistance of a court reporter.
This project is located on Route 720 (Smithland Road) in Rockingham County. The bridge over Interstate 81 will be replaced with a new structure. The current bridge was built in 1960 and has reached the end of its service life.
The proposed bridge will be constructed approximately 30 feet to the west of the existing bridge and will be 5.5-feet higher. The project includes realigning the bridge approaches.
The new bridge will have two through lanes and one turn lane. A five-foot wide sidewalk will be located on the west side of the project.
Additionally, the intersections of Route 720 (Smithland Road) and Route 718 (Old Furnace Road) will be improved to make Route 720 the through street. Dedicated turn lanes will also be constructed on Route 720.
This project enhances safety on Route 720 by replacing a deteriorating bridge structure with a new bridge that is able to support modern traffic both in volume and vehicle weights. The height of the new bridge increases vehicle clearance for I-81 traffic. Changes at the Route 720 intersection with Route 718 will improve traffic flow and provide better sight distance for drivers.
Two lanes of traffic will be maintained on Route 720 during construction. During bridge construction I-81 closures may be necessary to set beams. Any closures would be conducted at night to minimize the impact to traffic.
In 2011 Route 720 had an average daily traffic count of 4,100 vehicles per day. By the design year of 2039 the estimated average daily traffic volume is 6,610 vehicles per day.
The total estimated cost for this project is $10,220,470, including $926,359 for preliminary engineering, $582,256 for right of way and $8,711,855 for construction.
The VDOT Staunton District serves Frederick, Shenandoah, Clarke, Warren, Page, Rockingham, Augusta, Highland, Rockbridge, Alleghany and Bath counties.
Traffic alerts and traveler information can be obtained by dialing 511. Traffic alerts and traveler information also are available at 511Virginia.org. For other assistance call the VDOT Customer Service Center, available 24 hours-a-day, seven days a week. Citizens can dial 1-800-FOR- ROAD (1-800-367-7623) from anywhere in the state to report road hazards, ask transportation questions, or get information related to Virginia’s roads.
The Staunton District Twitter feed is at @VaDOTStaunton. VDOT can be followed on Facebook, Flickr, Twitter andYouTube. RSS feeds are also available for statewide information. The VDOT Web page is located atwww.VirginiaDOT.org.