Return to story
Synchronizing traffic lights on State Route 208 from U.S. 1 to Millgarden Drive should ease rush hour congestion some, VDOT officials say.
State Route 3 isn't the only area road where traffic signals are being synchronized in an effort to reduce delays.
Signals on two other area roads have already been set to run on timed patterns, and several more are scheduled to be done in the next year or so.
The light-coordination work is aimed at creating smoother flow in areas with congestion, most of which is caused by traffic coming off of Interstate 95.
This way, the Virginia Department of Transportation can "refine and improve" travel flow to "keep traffic moving as efficiently as possible," said spokeswoman Kelly Hannon.
The recent timing changes on Route 3 cut down travel times from morning through the evening, when the daily weekday crush of commuter traffic pours onto the highway, according to VDOT figures.
VDOT also has recently timed signals on two Stafford roads--U.S. 17 and State Route 610, both west of the interstate--that get hit hard by heavy traffic, especially during the commuter rush.
A handful of other roads, including Route 610 east of the interstate, will also undergo signal synchronization.
First in line will be State Route 208 in Spotsylvania, from U.S. 1 to Millgarden Drive, where a total of eight signals will be timed.
Before the lights are timed, VDOT will be taking traffic counts and workers will be "observing traffic to see how it flows," said Hannon.
The synchronization is scheduled to be done in July or August.
After that, VDOT will do the same thing on U.S. 1 in Spotsylvania, from the I-95 exits at Massaponax to the city line at Learning Lane, where Walker-Grant Middle School is located.
Work to coordinate the nine lights on that stretch could be done in the fall, said Hannon.
VDOT also plans to synchronize lights on a pair of roads in King George County--Route 3 near the high school and U.S. 301, in the Dahlgren area. There is no time frame set for the work.
There are more plans for Route 3's signals, too.
Sometime in the next year, VDOT will install detectors and "communicators" on select signals, which are in Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania.
The sensors "allow each signal to talk to one another" so they can adjust in real-time to traffic changes, said Hannon.
Route 610 and U.S. 17 could also get the automated timing devices in the future, she said.
The state has set aside $2 million in the 2013-17 Six-Year Improvement Plan for signal improvements on Route 3 and $225,000 for timing work in the city.
Scott Shenk: 540/374-5436