Officials from the Virginia Department of Transportation introduced preliminary findings in its current study of safety issues along Route 151 in northern Nelson County at a public meeting at the Rockfish Valley Community Center March 14. More improvements of the section stretching from Route 250 south to the intersection of Route 151 and Beech Grove Road (Route 664) may be needed.
Steady local population growth and increasing tourism usage have caused an increase of vehicles on the Route 151 corridor, which has a recent history ranging from minor accidents and fender benders to multiple fatalities, VDOT officials said. The highway has also been used for more than a decade as a shortcut for commercial truck traffic traveling between I-64 and U.S. Route 29.
Approximately 60 people turned out to review maps and suggestions for each of the 13 intersections included in the 14-mile study route.
With current crash data in hand, field visits were conducted of each intersection, and factors that may have contributed to crashes were identified and possible solutions described. Public input on those was solicited at the meeting. A second public meeting will be scheduled in late April or early May before the study is submitted in June.