• 61°

Pitchkettle Road realignment meeting scheduled

The city has scheduled a public meeting for the $7.7 million Pitchkettle Road realignment project, in which it will feature three potential design alternatives.

The meeting will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. Sept. 24 at Saint Paul Church at 806 Lincoln Ave. City staff will be available to answer questions and provide feedback on the project.

Like July’s design public hearing for the Bridge Road and Crittenden Road realignment project, the Pitchkettle Road meeting will be held outside, with social distancing requirements in place due to COVID-19. The city requests that all those coming to the meeting wear masks.

The budget for the Pitchkettle Road realignment project includes $700,000 for preliminary engineering, $1.5 million to acquire right-of-way and $5.5 million for construction. The money for the project comes from a combination of local and state sources.

As part of the project, Pitchkettle Road would be realigned from the intersection of Pitchkettle Road, Prentis Street and Constance Road to the Lake Meade Bridge. At present, Pitchkettle Road is a two-lane undivided road that connects the Route 58 Bypass on the west side of the city to the downtown area.

The upgraded and realigned Pitchkettle Road is expected to increase capacity at the intersection with Constance Road and Prentis Street, improve safety and visibility. The project is also expected to have curb and gutter improvements, a raised median, a 10-foot wide asphalt path, a five-foot-wide concrete sidewalk and drainage improvements.

There would also be a dedicated right-turn lane for traffic going south on Constance Road, which the city said would improve traffic flow and reduce backups at the railroad crossing — which is between Second Street and the intersection at Pitchkettle Road and Prentis Street — and a dedicated southbound left-turn lane and a right-turn lane on Pitchkettle Road.

The city says the left turn lane on Pitchkettle Road will provide drivers with a safer way of getting on and off of McKinley, Garfield and Lincoln avenues.

The city would need to acquire the right-of-way along the east side of Pitchkettle Road, and the project includes relocating existing utility poles in the project area.

Preliminary engineering for the project has been taking place since October 2018 and is expected to continue through August 2021. From that point, right-of-way acquisition is expected to take about 11 months before construction would begin in July 2022 and take about 20 months.

The project is expected to increase capacity at the Pitchkettle Road intersection.

Those coming to the public meeting will receive a project information packet and a comments form, which can be submitted at the meeting or emailed to Project Manager Luke Drylie at ldrylie@suffolkva.us. They can also be mailed to Drylie at the Department of Public Works — Engineering at 442 W. Washington St., Suffolk, VA 23434.

A video outlining the project can be found at http://bit.ly/pitchkettleroad.