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Lane reduction coming to ‘dangerous’ Dinwiddie intersection

Posted at 5:28 PM, May 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-19 18:22:37-04

DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va. – Many changes are coming to Route 460 and Courthouse Road in Dinwiddie County, an area many call a deadly intersection.

"This intersection was heightened last year with the very tragic passing away of one of our younger high school students last January," said Dinwiddie County Administrator Kevin Massengill.

John "Dakota" Reid, 16, was killed in a two-vehicle crash on westbound Route 460. He was the passenger in a 2010 Honda Civic that was attempting to cross Route 460 from Courthouse Road.

The newest changes drop four lane Route 460 down to two lanes for a short distance before and after the Courthouse Road Intersection.

"So instead of having to cross two lanes of traffic both directions, now you only have two lanes of traffic on the outward most part, which allows for a much easier traffic movement," said Massengill.

It also allows large trucks, like tractor trailers or logging trucks to not be in the roadway when stopping at the median stop sign.

"The only benefit I see to what they’ve done is allowing space for something this large to be able to make the second stop sign," said tractor trailer driver Travis Cates.

Past Changes to the intersection included adding flashing lights, adding larger stop signs in the median and cutting the berm down for a longer line of sight.

Those changes now seem to have made a difference.

"We're coming up on a year ago, this weekend, Memorial Day last year, was the last accident we had at this intersection,” said Massengill.

One proposed change over the past year, referred to as a "modified U-turn" did not come to fruition.

"The public had a lot of opposition to that type of proposal," said Massengill.

And there are some drivers not in favor of lane reduction.

"I don't think it makes any sense... the issue is not paying attention," said Angie Davis.

VDOT says the cost of dropping the four lanes down to two at the Courthouse Road Intersection was between $20,000 and $30,000.

If the changes work out, VDOT says the intersection will remain as is. However, if it does not, the modified U-turn will be implemented at a cost of around $300,000.