February 9, 2006
There are improvements on the horizon for the one-lane underpass on Polo Grounds Road.
"I think ultimately there are some changes that have got to happen," said resident King Pace.
Pace has lived in Proffit all of his live and has been stopping and beeping his horn before moving through this underpass on Polo Grounds Road for years. He says he believes a change is needed.
"I will sort of hate to see it go because it is part of the history of Proffit but again with the increase in traffic, it is inevitable," he said.
"I think it has been a concern for some who use it regularly that it is perhaps not as safe as it could be," said Lou Hatter with VDOT.
VDOT is proposing installing stop signs and convex mirrors to the bridge so that people can see around the corner. It's an installation that would stop the beeping.
To understand the complexities of this intersection you need only stand here for a few minutes. While some neighbors say VDOT's plans to improve the intersection aren't enough, still others say it's too much.
"It lends character to the area that I live in. To me, I feel like we live out in the country but it is really close to everything," said Patti Heckel.
Some in the area had asked VDOT to install traffic lights but a low traffic count and land use issues do not allow for that to happen. However, VDOT believes this will alleviate some of the concern.
"We want to make sure that we have the location as safe as possible for people who use the road everyday and we are hoping this will help," said Hatter.
The project will cost Albemarle County less than $2,000. The County is waiting on approval from Norfolk Southern, who owns the bridge, before work can begin. Once approved, the mirrors should be installed almost immediately.