Third section of Virginia Central Railway Trail set to open

SGI Update:  This new section of the Central Virginia Rail Trail has been built by the City of Fredericksburg and is now open.  The crossing signal IS operational.  There is a delay between hitting the crossing button and the light change that may seem to be a long time.  Please be patient and wait for the traffic to be stopped by the light on Route 1.   This is a dangerous crossing and requires your full caution.

BY PAMELA GOULD/THE FREE LANCE-STAR | Posted: Thursday, June 25, 2015 4:41 pm

The third section of the Virginia Central Railway Trail in Fredericksburg is scheduled to open next week, the city’s Public Works Department announced Thursday.

With that will come a new traffic signal on U.S. 1 at Kings Mill Drive.

The signal will include a pedestrian-activated feature to allow trail users the opportunity to safely cross the busy roadway.

That access is key because the trail continues from one side of U.S. 1 to the other.

The VCR Trail begins at the Cobblestone Square apartments. From there it travels to the intersection of Lafayette Boulevard and the Blue and Gray Parkway where there is the first pedestrian–activated signal.

The second section of the trail runs from that intersection through Alum Spring Park to U.S. 1.

Section three begins there and continues to the edge of the Idlewild development.

The fourth and final section within the city will run from the edge of Idlewild to Interstate 95. It has not been completed because there isn’t funding for it, Public Works Director Doug Fawcett said.

The first two sections of the VCR Trail opened on Sept. 20. Section three is expected to open on Thursday, July 2.

On Monday, the city will place variable message boards along U.S. 1 on the approach to the signal to start alerting drivers, Fawcett said.

Next, the signal heads will be placed in flash mode. The full, regular signal pattern is expected to begin on Thursday.

At that point, fences in front of the trail on both sides of U.S. 1 will be removed so those sections of the trail can be used. When pedestrians push a button to cross U.S. 1, both the U.S. 1 and Kings Mill Drive traffic will get a red light.

The time between the signal’s activation and when traffic can move again will depend on the time of day and the point in the cycle when the button is pushed, according to Fawcett.

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