In spring 2016, in response to the Franklin County Board of Supervisors submitting a SMART SCALE application, the Commonwealth Transportation Board included funding in the Six-Year Improvement Program for a project to improve safety at the intersection of Route 122 and Hardy Road in Franklin County.

As the funds became available, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) developed a project to construct a new left turn lane on northbound Route 122. This project was intended to reduce rear-end collisions, the predominant crash type at the intersection in previous years.

In fall 2019, in light of recent crashes, VDOT reevaluated the intersection and determined that the predominant crash type had changed with rear-end collisions decreasing and the angle crashes increasing and left-turn crashes from Hardy Road onto Route 122 almost doubling. As a result, VDOT is pursuing changing the scope of the project and refining the design to provide improvements that enhance safety given the more recent crash pattern. VDOT considered a traffic signal and a roundabout for the improvements.

“When a fatal crash occurs, VDOT does a post-crash review at the location which includes looking at the crash history,” VDOT communications manager Jason Bond said. “After the fatal crash that occurred at this intersection in August 2019, VDOT reviewed the intersection and determined that the crash pattern had changed from the time when the safety improvement project that was under development had received funding. As a result, VDOT made some near-term improvements to enhance safety at the intersection while considering a change to the design of the safety improvement project that was being developed.”

-For more information, see the Feb. 19 edition of the Smith Mountain Eagle-

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