By Ted Shockley
The hunches-and-prayer intersection at the Cape Charles Food Lion shopping plaza on Lankford Highway is getting a traffic signal, but it the project won’t be completed for more than two years from now.
Chris Isdell, administrator of the Virginia Department of Transportation Accomac residency, told the Northampton County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, March 12 that the project will start during the summer of 2020.
It will cost $1.9 million to complete and include amenities like longer turn lanes and rumble strips. A signal needs analysis last fall determined that a traffic signal would make the intersection safer.
The light will be installed at the infamous corridor connecting the McDonald’s restaurant on the highway’s seaside with the Union Bank on the bayside.
The white-knuckles intersection has been a source of frustration for a decade. However, it is more easily maneuverable in winter.
During the summer, with tourist traffic, nearby residents and a crowded Route 13, it almost takes input from a Ouija board and Magic 8-ball to safely make a left turn into or out of the shopping plaza.
The project will be finished by April 2021.
Isdell also said Cemetery Road, the turtlebacked two-lane road that connects Accomack and Northampton counties west of Belle Haven, will be getting an upgrade beginning in November 2022.
The $925,000 project will be completed in October 2023. Accomack’s state road money also will contribute to improvements.
Board Chairman Spencer Murray appreciated the news, saying he and fellow Supervisor Oliver Bennett had advocated for improvements on Cemetery Road for a long time.
“Both of us hope the improvements are actually made before we’re in the cemetery,” he said.