Message boards have been placed this week in anticipation of implementation of changes to the Tall Cedars and Elk Lick Intersection in South Riding on July 20-21.
We are implementing the changes that I shared earlier this year, removing the stop signs on Tall Cedars Parkway and restricting left turns from Elk Lick Road. The existing pavement markings will be removed and flex posts will be installed to channelize the turns from Tall Cedars onto Elk Lick Road and prevent Elk Lick traffic from crossing Tall Cedars or making a left. The final project is anticipated to be completed during 2020 to coincide with VDOT’s planned repaving of Tall Cedars Parkway. In the graphic, the current project is to implement the “interim” configuration in the middle.
VDOT’s contractor is planning to implement the interim configuration with two days of work over the weekend of July 20 and 21. Should weather become an issue, the project will be shifted to the following weekend. There will be lane closures at the intersection to allow for a safe work area and I would encourage you to seek alternate routes during this time.
We have been actively studying and working on the Tall Cedars/Elk Lick intersection for several years. In 2018, we implemented a median closure on Route 50 at Elk Lick Road and modifications to the Elk Lick approach to allow right-in and right-out turning movements. We also installed a new lane configuration on Defender Drive between Elk Lick and South Riding Boulevard due to the increase in traffic volume expected to be rerouted when the median closed.
After a period of several months we reevaluated the traffic patterns to see whether there was any noticeable improvement at the Elk Lick and Tall Cedars intersection. Unfortunately, we continued to see accidents occurring there at an alarming rate – one every 35 days – and very little traffic volume change on Elk Lick. The changes being implemented this summer are expected to significantly improve safety at the intersection.
The new configuration will change some traffic patterns. Extensive traffic studies show no major issues with new patterns but we will be monitoring carefully. It will likely take drivers some time to figure out the best way to complete their trips, but this is an area with a significant amount of parallel connectivity.