If you have driven along Virginia Avenue in Collinsville lately, you’ve undoubtedly noticed some streetscape improvements which include flower plantings and new sidewalk construction.
While much of the Virginia Avenue corridor is served by sidewalks, some segments are not; this is especially true on the west side of the corridor. Henry County recently constructed a new segment of sidewalk on the east side of the corridor from Kings Mountain Road to Eastview Drive, a distance of about 800 feet. The sidewalk provides new pedestrian access to several businesses along Virginia Avenue, as well as access to a residential area. The project also included the construction of a pedestrian refuge midway across Virginia Avenue at Kings Mountain Road, at the location of an existing crosswalk in front of Walgreens. A pedestrian refuge is a median-like space in the center of a road or street at which pedestrians can stop after crossing half the width of the street and wait until it is safe to cross the other half. Pedestrian refuges improve pedestrian safety while promoting walking. Two crosswalks at the intersection of Virginia Avenue and Kings Mountain Road – one crossing each roadway – were constructed in 2017 as an earlier phase of this project.
The project also includes a streetscape enhancement element which primarily consists of flower plantings along both side of Virginia Avenue. This aspect of the project extends somewhat further north and south of the new sidewalk. Gateway signage is also included in the project, comprising a large pillar and sign acknowledging entry into Collinsville.
While the beautification and multimodalism along the Virginia Avenue corridor has been enhanced as a result of this project, there is more to come. A future phase of project implementation will include lighted street signs at major intersections along the corridor, as well as pedestrian signals. The project is jointly funded via the VDOT Enhancement Program as well as Henry County, consisting of $876,000 in funding.
In addition to the improvements funded through this project, Henry County successfully applied for a Smart Scale application in 2016, which will fund the construction of approximately 1,000 feet of sidewalk along the west side of Virginia Avenue, from Wheeler Avenue south to Printers Lane. Additionally, this funding will result in the construction of a crosswalk and pedestrian signal at the intersection of Virginia and Wheeler Avenues to promote safe pedestrian movements across the heavily-trafficked corridor.
If you’re able to walk to work, remember that you can earn points toward rewards using the RIDE Solutions app! If you have not done so, download the free app at www.ridesolutions.org!