Traffic engineers plan changes to problem intersection

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Chesapeake residents in Great Bridge contacted last week, frustrated about an intersection near their homes. A solution may be on the way.

The residents say the Battlefield Boulevard and Causeway Drive intersection needs changes or a new traffic pattern.

“Hopefully they’ll do something soon to help us out on Causeway,” said Ann McKenney, who has lived on the street for 22 years.

Causeway Drive is a dead end street located very close to the Great Bridge bridge on Battlefield Boulevard. Residents have seen problems with the intersection over the years, bur recently their frustration has increased.

Each day when the bridge opens, they say drivers block the intersection and Causeway Drive, despite signs telling them not to. Not only does a blocked intersection mean residents can’t make a left across traffic, it also could be dangerous during a potential emergency.

“You can only go in one way and go out one way,” McKenney said. “So that’s why it makes it difficult, if you’re caught by the bridge and people won’t move for you to get out.”

Earl Sorey, Assistant Director of Chesapeake Public Works, agrees a blocked dead end street needs to be addressed. He said he has plans for more signs.

“Installing do not block legends on the pavement,” Sorey said. “We feel like that will be a nice complement to the existing signs out there.”

A blocked intersection is only part of the problem. The other problem residents have with this intersection is u-turns that cut too close to vehicles sitting at the intersection. U-turns are legal at Causeway Drive, however, neighbors said they happen a lot and there have been collisions.

Neighbors said some of the u-turns are related to traffic coming from Albemarle Drive, which is a block away from Causeway Drive. Drivers can’t make a left across traffic from Albemarle Drive. Instead they make the right onto Battlefield Boulevard from Albemarle, make a quick u-turn at Causeway Drive, and then continue on Battlefield in the opposite direction.

While what drivers are doing is legal, observed there is a small space for the u-turn. Neighbors added, the turning car often comes close to hitting the car on Causeway Drive waiting to turn.

Sorey said traffic engineers will begin collecting data on the intersection. His crews will need to observe what is happening with the u-turns themselves. He’s brainstormed some ideas so far.

“Perhaps only restricting those turns during peak hours,” Sorey said. “But, we’ll need some traffic data to make a sound decision on that.”

Sorey said Public Works is also working with the Chesapeake Police Department on enforcement and traffic issues.

You can report a traffic problem to the City of Chesapeake by calling 757-382-CITY (2489), Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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