July 8 is nearly here. That’s the start of the planned three-week closure of the northbound lanes of U.S. 15/29 near Vint Hill Road to regrade the pavement and remove two hills in the median.
The scheduled start of the closure has been talked about, written about and been the subject of a public information campaign by the Virginia Department of Transportation for weeks.
Drivers planning to use U.S. Route 15/29 through northern Fauquier County between July 8 and Aug. 2 should prepare now for a detour and likely delays, VDOT advises.
There will be some blasting involved. Traffic on southbound lanes will temporarily be stopped during those times. The first day of blasting is expected to be on July 9.
The northbound lanes of U.S. 15/29 will be closed from just north of the entrance to Battlefield Baptist Church to just south of the Route 29/215 intersection, a distance of about one-half mile.
Northbound traffic will detour using U.S. 17 north from Warrenton to Interstate 66 at Marshall, then using I-66 east to Gainesville. The closure will not affect southbound traffic and drivers will be able to turn onto and from Vint Hill Road (VA 215) during the closure. Access to private entrances, including Battlefield Baptist Church, will be maintained during the closure.
VDOT suggests allowing at least 30 additional minutes for commuting or other trips during the peak morning travel hours.
State police and the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office will have officers in the vicinity to monitor traffic and respond to incidents as needed. Portable message boards have been placed at roadsides to give drivers advance warning of the closure.
Trucks making deliveries to local businesses will need to use the posted detour of Route 17 north to Interstate 66 east and back to Route 29 southbound, where they will be able to access the businesses.
“The first couple of days are going to be rough,” said Garrett Moore, VDOT’s chief engineer. “Take a vacation or telework” if possible.
Chemung Contracting Corp., of Mitchells, Virginia, is constructing the improvements under a $3,544,568.45 design-build contract. Chemung is partnering with Volkert Inc., of Springfield, Va., which is providing design services for the project.
The Route 29 northbound approach to the Route 215 intersection ranks as the number one safety need in VDOT’s nine-county Culpeper District with the highest potential for safety improvement. In the five years between 2013 and 2017, there were 113 crashes on that section of the highway.
Information about the project is available on VDOT’s website on the Route 29 at Vint Hill Road, Fauquier County page. The page includes detour maps, frequently asked questions about the project as well as background information such as presentations and minutes from the Route 29 New Baltimore Advisory Panel meetings and previous studies of the corridor. Anyone interested in receiving email notifications and updates about the project, email Lou Hatter, Culpeper District communications manager, at Lou.Hatter@VDOT.Virginia.gov.