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The reconfiguring of the Glendale Road/East Stuart Drive intersection, located near Subway restaurant in Galax, is on schedule for an October completion, said Galax City Manager Keith Barker.
The changes to the traffic pattern at the intersection has caused some confusion, and Barker is cautioning drivers to pay attention to signs and watch out for work crews in the area.
The Virginia Department of Transportation’s $1.2 million Glendale Road project includes changing the turn lane for westbound traffic on 58/East Stuart onto Glendale, creating a westbound turning lane from Glendale onto 58/East Stuart and eliminating the existing “slip ramp,” which forces westbound drivers to turn around and look over their left shoulders for oncoming traffic.
The “slip ramp” at Subway is already closed.
The project also entails building a new retaining wall along westbound Glendale Road, adding sidewalks and installing curbs and gutters.
Glendale Road improvements began a couple of weeks ago. As of Monday, police were still being called to keep an eye on drivers who ignored signs.
The new traffic pattern’s signs advise motorists traveling west on Glendale to use Larkspur Lane or Allen Lane to get to 58 before reaching the Glendale/East Stuart intersection, which is closed.
Drivers can still turn onto Glendale Road from other points.
When the new traffic pattern began, Galax Police Department officers wrote more than 50 citations in four days to drivers failing to obey traffic signs. Some westbound drivers continued to use the closed lane after all proper signage was posted, saying that it was closed.
“We placed a police car with flashing lights there for a couple of days to make sure people were aware of the traffic changes,” said Barker. “We had a couple of near misses with the crew [almost being hit by vehicles].”
The route remains open in both directions to rescue personnel, he noted.
“We need to make westbound drivers aware that if someone is coming through, or an ambulance to the hospital is coming through, there could be a serious accident,” said Barker.
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