By Isabella Sayers
On Tuesday evening, the Northampton County Board of Supervisors held a meeting where the Residency Administrator for the Virginia Department of Transportation, Chris Isdell, discussed the Smart Scale project at the Food Lion intersection located in Cape Charles. Smart Scale is a data-driven process for prioritizing the funding of transportation projects. An application for the Smart Scale project was submitted by Northampton County in 2016. The improvements would encompass three-tenths of a mile of road that is traveled by an average of 22,270 cars daily. The estimated cost for the project is around $1.7 million, with construction beginning in May of 2020 and expected completion in February of 2021.
Isdell went on to give a brief analysis of public comments received at the public hearing held on July 27, 2018, regarding the intersection. Many brought forth their own ideas as to how they believe the intersection can be made a less hazardous roadway. The most agreed upon suggestions included the addition of connecting roads, the restriction of turn lanes, a 10 mph speed reduction, and closing the crossover at the southern entrance to Food Lion, none of which are within the current scope of work or allocated funding for the existing project application. Re-scoping and re-scoring are necessary for all of the preceding proposals voiced by the public, which would result in the current application being removed from the approved project list.
A decision will need to be made on whether or not to continue with the original application which would widen and lengthen turn lanes, or withdraw the application, rescope, and resubmit in 2020. As of last night, the Board did not vote on the issue and will revisit the topic on August 27, 2018.