In response to citizens sounding the alarm about a planned industrial park’s impact on Shannon Hill Road (Rt. 605), the Louisa County Board of Supervisors agreed on June 3 to include several of the route’s key intersections in a traffic study.
The county had intended for its consultant to analyze traffic impacts between Interstate 64 and the entrance to Shannon Hill Regional Business Park. Now the study will include the intersections of Rt. 33 (Jefferson Highway), nine miles to the north, and Rt. 640 (Old Mountain Road).
The board voted 5-2 at its June 3 meeting to rezone the 683-acre park from agricultural to industrial. Supervisors Fitzgerald Barnes (Patrick Henry district) and Tommy Barlow (Mountain Road district) were opposed.
Supervisor Duane Adams made a motion to condition the rezoning on the traffic study and expanding the forested buffer area around the park from 100 to 150 feet in width. The county would own the buffer. The supervisors also agreed to form a working group of people who live on or near Rt. 605 to be involved in the study.
William Hale, a Louisa resident, was the lone speaker at the public hearing after three other citizens ceded their three minutes of speaking time to him. He said he drives on Shannon Hill Road regularly and warned of dire consequences if the road’s “many blind curves” are not improved.
“The approaches to the South Anna [River] bridge … are some of the blindest, steepest, curviest roads in the whole doggone county,” he said.
He pointed out the volume of logging trucks that already use the road.
“Multiply the traffic load sure to be generated by a large commercial development, and, simply put, people are gonna die,” he said.
To do a full-fledged traffic study of Rt. 605 will cost a lot of money, Supervisor Willie Gentry (Cuckoo district) said. Since it’s a secondary road, not a primary road like Rt. 208 (Courthouse Road) or Rt. 33, the Virginia Department of Transportation is unlikely to chip in much toward the expense, he said.
(Article by David Holtzman)
This is a partial article. Read the full story in The Central Virginian’s June 6, 2019 issue.