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Preserving US 58 Travel Times

Preserving US 58 Travel Times

Intersecting with I-95 and I-85, US 58 is a key highway linking Hampton Roads to the southern states, including the key port market area of North Carolina and south-central Virginia shown below (red circle).  By serving trips between the two area, US 58 serves the economic, social, and recreational travel needs of residents in the southern U.S. and Hampton Roads.

Map of Destination of Containerized Hampton Roads Imports Moving by Truck, 2018

Destination of Containerized Hampton Roads Imports Moving by Truck, 2018

Source: HRTPO’s Regional Connectors Study (presentation to 6-11-20 Working Group)

Map Showing US 58 Linking Hampton Roads to I-95 and I-85

US 58 Linking Hampton Roads to I-95 and I-85

Source: HRTPO staff via Google My Maps

Traffic signals—the traditional way of serving local trip ends—have been added to the route over time, increasing travel times for the auto and truck drivers who use it for through trips.

Map Showing Existing Traffic Signals on US 58

Existing Traffic Signals on US 58

Source: HRTPO staff via Google My Maps

Given the importance of US 58 to Virginia, VDOT recently studied improvements for the highway, including innovative intersection designs that provide local access while precluding or delaying the need for a traffic signal, such as the Restricted Crossing U-Turn (RCUT) and Turbo Tee designs shown below.

Illustration showing RCUT Intersection Design

RCUT Intersection Design

Source: VDOT (10-21-20 US 58 presentation)

Unlike a traditional intersection, which allows drivers who are turning left or driving straight from side streets to simultaneously negotiate both directions of highway traffic—a process which often requires a traffic signal—the RCUT design allows such drivers to cross each directional stream of highway traffic in turn—a process which may require no traffic signal.

Illustration showing a “Turbo Tee” Intersection Design

“Turbo Tee” Intersection Design

Source: VDOT (10-21-20 US 58 presentation)

The Turbo Tee design provides drivers turning left from the side street a lane in which to accelerate and thereby safely join the highway flow without the need for a signal to stop that flow.

To help implement the recommendations of the 2019 VDOT study, the HRTPO—led by representatives from Chesapeake, Suffolk, and the Port of Virginia—invited stakeholders from the following localities and agencies to determine next steps:

  • City of Franklin
  • Southampton County
  • City of Emporia
  • VDOT
  • Southside Planning District Commission
  • Greensville County
  • Crater Planning District Commission

On October 21, 2020, HRTPO staff presented to this group background information and VDOT’s consultant—Michael Baker International (MBI)—presented RCUT and Turbo Tee designs and the requirements of the various funding sources that governments can use to implement these designs.  MBI reported that the following innovative intersection projects were submitted to the state this year for SMART SCALE funding:

  • Southampton High School Turbo Tee (Southampton County)
  • Camp Parkway Turbo Tee (Southampton County)
  • Longstreet Lane to Holland Bypass RCUT (Suffolk)

Should these projects be funded, they will safely serve local access while preventing or delaying the addition of signals along US 58, thereby preserving this highway’s ability to link Hampton Roads to south-central Virginia and the southern states in a timely fashion.

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