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Shippee offers project updates

Q: What’s the latest on the two Smart Scale projects in Buckingham pertaining to the two intersections on Routes 15 and 60?

Two Smart Scale projects in Buckingham County seeking to improve safety at two seperate intersections are progressing.

The new legislature-approved scoring process will allow for work at the intersections of U.S. Route 15 and Stage Coach and Francisco roads at Sheppards and Routes 60 and 56.

Approval of funding of the two intersections was announced last summer by officials with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and the Commonwealth Transportation Board.

Scot Shippee

“(As for) the Route 56 and 60 intersection and the Route 15 and 636 intersection,” VDOT Resident Engineer Scot Shippee told county supervisors Monday night, “the 56 and 60 intersection is currently in the design process. (We’re) looking to have a public hearing probably in May sometime next year on that one. That design is not finalized yet.”

As for the intersection at Sheppards, Shippee said VDOT is “still waiting on surveying to come back on that one, so the design process hasn’t really started on that one yet.”

Formerly referred to as House Bill 2, Smart Scale is a prioritization process that evaluates each project’s merits using key factors, including improvements to safety, congestion reduction, accessibility, land use, economic development and the environment, according to VDOT.

According to VDOT, left and right turn lanes will be constructed on Route 15 at Sheppards and on Route 60 at the Route 56 intersection.

“Both of the projects in Buckingham are safety issues and we addressed the safety issues at both of those intersections,” said Buckingham County Administrator Rebecca S. Carter in a previous interview. “The projects qualified, mostly because of the accidents.”

According to the Smart Scale dashboard, the project at Sheppards has an approved budget of $2.7 million. The project at Routes 60 and 56 has an approved budget of $3 million.

In addition to the two projects in Buckingham receiving funding last summer, two in Prince Edward County also won approval — the intersections at Routes 460 and 307, Routes 15 and 692 at Kingsville and Routes 15 and 655 at Worsham.

In Prince Edward, the intersection of Routes 460 and 307 will be reconstructed. Route 15 will see left and right turn lanes at the intersections of 655 (at Worsham) and a roundabout at 692 at Kingsville.

Out of the five projects, the Route 460 and 307 intersection ranked highest at 61.4 points. The lowest-scoring project was the Worsham intersection project.

Prince Edward’s top priority was the intersection of Routes 460 and 307, Prince Edward County Administrator Wade Bartlett said in a previous interview.