James City Planning Commission recommends Longhill Road study

JAMES CITY -The Planning Commission voted unanimously Wednesday night to recommend a re-design plan for Longhill Road. If approved by the Board of Supervisors, the project would result in the roughly three-mile stretch between Route 199 and Centerville Road becoming a four-lane road with a center median.

The plan also envisions a roundabout at Plantation Drive the to handle traffic into and out of the Williamsburg Plantation timeshare site, and provide access to King of Glory Lutheran and Wellspring United Methodist churches.

Planning staff indicated that one stretch of the road, near Lafayette High School is subject to ongoing negotiations with WJC Schools administration and the School Board, which have concerns about access to Longhill Road from the school.

According to Carroll Collins, a representative of Kimley-Horn, the consultant on the study, the estimated cost of the project is around $88 million, divided into three phases. Construction would begin near Route 199 and proceed toward Centerville Road.

A Season's Trace resident said that while he supports the plan overall, a signalized intersection for Season's Trace was so needed that it should be undertaken even before the rest of the project.

Both citizens and Planning Commission members praised the study process.

"It was brilliant," said Robin Bledsoe, commission vice chairwoman. "It was exactly what you would hope that a process like that would be."'

Commission chairman Richard Krapf agreed, noting that the consultants were actually able to incorporate and address citizen suggestions during the same meeting that they were made.

If the Board of Supervisors agrees with the planners' recommendation at its meeting next week, it will become the county's vision for the corridor and the process of seeking funding can begin