FORT LEE, Va. (Oct. 25, 2012) -- An $11.4 million highway project that impacts Fort Lee is in its final phase, said Shane Mann, project control engineer with the Virginia Department of Transportation.

All road work should be completed by mid-November, he added, though some work involving temporary lane closures may continue for a short while.

The finished product promises to be worth the wait for Fort Lee commuters.

Final surface paving and line striping for the Route 36 project began Monday and is expected to conclude by 6 p.m. Friday. The work impacts the stretch of highway from the Lee Gate east to the Interstate 295 interchange.

VDOT requires the contractor to maintain two lanes of traffic eastbound from 3:30-7:30 p.m. and westbound from 7:30-9:30 a.m., said Mann.

Traffic has been disrupted for some months, especially at the Sisisky Gate intersection with Temple Avenue. The intersection has been reworked. New signals are being installed there and at the new double left turn lanes from Temple onto Route 36 near the gate.

Once the work is completed, drivers who use the Sisisky Gate will experience better traffic flow in several ways, said Mann. Drivers turning right onto Route 36, which is also called Oaklawn Boulevard, will have a free flow lane. That means they proceed through the intersection unimpeded regardless of signals for other travel lanes. This will be especially beneficial to those drivers headed for I-295 or Hopewell.

Two straight lanes will carry traffic from Sisisky to Temple, doubling the amount of Colonial Heights-bound traffic that clears the intersection on each green signal.

There will continue to be a left turn lane for traffic headed toward Petersburg.

The westbound lanes of Route 36 will have two left turn lanes at the Sisisky Gate, doubling the access for I-295 and Hopewell drivers.

Although it may seem strange that traffic from Temple Avenue now must make a left turn onto Route 36 before turning right onto Sisisky Avenue, Mann said the intersection was designed this way to improve traffic flow. Temple Avenue traffic will no longer compete with traffic exiting the post via Sisisky.

The Virginia Department of Transportation project also includes a third eastbound lane from Temple Avenue to Jefferson Park Road where a divided right turn lane is being installed.

The one-mile project was begun in June 2011.

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