In Heathsville, Northumberland County staff and two supervisors met with Virginia Department of Transportation officials August 4 to make their case for a traffic light at the intersection of Academic Lane and Northumberland Highway. VDOT Northern Neck residency administrator David Brown said “I know it sounds counterintuitive, but sometimes signals in and of themselves at intersections where they’re not fully warranted can cause accidents as well.” The traffic light issue first came up with a request to the board of supervisors to approve a transfer of excess funds from a project at the intersection of Indian Valley Road and Northumberland Highway to start work at the intersection with Academic Lane.
VDOT officials went on to say installing a traffic signal at an intersection must meet certain requirements regarding traffic volume, pedestrian crossings, crash history, and other factors. Federal funding also plays a role in VDOT’s projects.vdot officials said they can’t use federal funds on a project to install signals that aren’t warranted, but will send workers to get new traffic volume counts at the intersection in late September or October. The state can then reevaluate the need for a signal.