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Center turn lane planned to make driving in Mineral safer

Posted on Wednesday, September 20, 2017 at 5:42 pm

A new paving/painting project in the town of Mineral will result in a center turn lane on Mineral Avenue. The project could be completed as early as the first week of October.

Mineral Avenue will get a makeover in the next few weeks, possibly just in time for the Louisa County High School homecoming parade.

As part of its annual paving schedule, the Virginia Department of Transportation will be repaving several roads in the town of Mineral, including Mineral Avenue between Gibson’s Auto Services and the 900 block of Mineral Avenue.

At its Sept. 11 meeting, the Mineral Town Council approved several changes to the town’s main thoroughfare, including the addition of a center turn lane between Second Street and Fifth Street along Mineral Avenue.

Traffic lanes on Mineral Avenue are currently 18 feet wide, well over the standard 12-14 feet of most highways, said VDOT engineer Nathan Umberger. This poses several safety issues.

“Wider lanes can encourage people to go faster, and they’re not really wide enough for two vehicles to operate at once,” Umberger said.

Adding a center turn lane will create three 12-foot lanes and allow for a more steady traffic flow. Umberger noted that there have been several accidents along that section of Mineral Avenue over the last five years.

“They’ve predominately been rear-ends; we’ve had some angle crashes and some sideswiping of vehicles going the other way,” he said. “Fortunately, none of those have been extremely severe, but this would be something that would help smooth the traffic flow.”

Another area of concern for the council is the intersection of Mineral Avenue. and First Street at the Exxon station. Because the lane is so wide, vehicles that turn right tend to move toward the right side of the lane, despite there being no markings to indicate a turn lane there. (This is a partial story. Read full article in The CV’s Sept. 21 issue). 

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