Waterline, roundabout construction at Route 249 and Route 612 intersection

NEW KENT – A waterline consolidation and the construction of a new roundabout will slow down traffic on Route 249 and Route 612 until the end of next year.

Last week, New Kent County started a $1 million project that will interconnect three waterline systems near Route 249 (New Kent Highway) and Route 612 (Tunstall Road and Airport Road).

By combining the waterlines to Kenwood Estates, Greenwood Estates, Deer Lake, and Quinton Estates, the neighborhoods will run on the same waterline system as Farms of New Kent, according to New Kent Public Utilities Director Larry Dame.

"By consolidating the waterlines, we won't have to pay for three separate pumps and tests," said Dame in a phone interview Monday. "We expect it to save us $80,000 per year."

"It will also increase fire protection for those neighborhoods."

The project cost will come out of the Public Utility budget and will not affect taxpayers, Dame said.

Dame does not expect the project to cause any significant travel delays.

According to VDOT Communications Manager Lindsay LeGrand, the waterline project is not the only construction at the intersection.

"A roundabout is being constructed at the intersection of Route 249 and Route 612, starting February 2015," LeGrand said in a phone interview last week.

LeGrand said that the roundabout will improve the traffic flow, increase safety and the capacity for growth, and slow down oncoming traffic.

A VDOT speed study recently showed that most of the traffic traveling at that intersection was going over the speed limit, LeGrand said. The study also revealed that the intersection averaged a total of 5,500 cars per day in 2006.

"The lanes are going to be wider to accommodate bicycle traffic," LeGrand said.

According to LeGrand, the roundabout project will last about eight months, during which residents can expect alternate lane closures.

"We expect the roundabout to open at the end of next year," she said.

Martin can be reached by phone at 804-885-0040.