Picture This: US Route 1/138 Intersection Improvements

Brittany Harlow By: Brittany Harlow

In April 2020, roadway improvements were completed in the Town of South Hill along US Route 1 (Mecklenburg Avenue) at the intersection of Route 138 (Union Mill Road) and Tunstall Drive.  The project consisted of realigning Tunstall Drive, constructing turn lane improvements along US Route 1, and installing a new traffic signal at the intersection.

The intersection enhancements were crucial to improve the safety and operational efficiency of the US Route 1 corridor.  The project was motivated by traffic growth due to the newly completed VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital facility (located at the top of the photo above) and the 1.5 million square feet of developable land in the 138-acre Hillcrest Industrial Park just south on Tunstall Drive.  The hospital facility opened in late 2017; the civil engineering site work was also completed by Timmons Group.

Tunstall Drive was originally not aligned through the intersection, creating poor sight distance and vehicle orientation for left turns.  Timmons Group’s traffic engineers designed the improvements to shift Tunstall Drive east approximately 25 feet to align the entire intersection.   The realignment of Tunstall Drive and the addition of a traffic signal will increase safety for drivers while navigating the intersection.  The intersection was designed with larger, heavy vehicles in mind, given the existing commercial uses along Route 138 and the proposed economic development site on Tunstall Drive.

The finished road design included turn lane design, US Route 1 corridor redesign, and a new traffic signal at the intersection.  Timmons Group also provided survey, environmental, geotechnical services and construction administration for the project.