Update on Afton Rt. 250 Rockslide and Route 6 Restrictions

Residents along Route 6 in Nelson County, the curvy road that drops off Rt. 250 and is a shortcut to Rt. 151, have been vocal about the tractor-trailers who have tried to drive on that road, becoming stuck on curves requiring wreckers to remove them. Residents have also noted cut-through motorists driving over the speed limit.

I was on Afton Thursday and watched a tractor-trailer obey the “No Trucks” portable sign, making a U-turn on Rt. 250 in front of the popcorn truck to return to I-64 or follow Rt. 250 into Waynesboro. Later in the day a Virginia State Police officer was sitting there with lights on as further deterrent for truckers.

Here is a press release issued by VSP and VDOT Friday afternoon updating the situation.

Truck Restriction Messages, Enforcement Focused on Route 6 in County – VSP is ticketing truckers who ignore through tractor-trailer ban

CULPEPER/LYNCHBURG – Motorists have seen an increase in traffic, including tractor trailer truck traffic, on Route 6 (Afton Mountain Road) as a result of the U.S. 250 (Rockfish Gap Turnpike) landslide in Nelson County.

Route 6 is a restricted route and tractor-trailers are prohibited unless they are making local deliveries on the route. However, while repairs continue and U.S. 250 remains closed, a number of tractor-trailers have become hung up in the tight curves along Route 6 and blocked the road to all traffic creating delays and safety concerns regarding emergency response, as well as ingress and egress for residents who live on the road.

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has taken numerous steps to help address and alleviate concerns, including:

? Additional signage, including digital message boards, on Interstate 64, at either end of U.S. 250 and other locations.
? Partnered with the Virginia State Police to increase VSP presence, including truck restriction citations.
? Increased presence of the VSP Motor Carrier Safety Team.
? Partnered with the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office – Sheriff David W. Hill to increase law enforcement presence in concert with the State Police.
? Use of an unmanned portable radio that broadcasts to CB radio frequencies to advise of truck restrictions on Route 6.
? Use of cameras and traffic classification counters to monitor roadway use.
? Coordinated communication with the Virginia Trucking Association and commercial motor vehicle carriers and trucking companies.

The Virginia State Police will continue to provide 24/7 coverage during the closure and immediately after the route is reopened. Since the route was closed May 3, troopers have issued a total of 109 summonses related to the road closure, with 23 of those for commercial vehicle violations. The violations have been issued on U.S. 250, Route 151, Route 6 and U.S. 29.

Contractors are working six days a week to stabilize the slope above U.S. 250. The angle of the slope requires the operation be done in sections so heavy equipment can be safely used to remove the material from the hillside. The contractors took advantage of the closure to stabilize a second area nearby where there were indications of a possible future slide. The slope repair work is expected to be complete and U.S. 250 re-opened next month.

Motorists should continue to use Interstate 64 over Afton Mountain in this area. Exit 99 onto U.S. 250 from I-64 at the summit of Afton Mountain is open to traffic in both directions, however U.S. 250 is closed at the Route 6 intersection, 1.4 miles east of Exit 99.

Work continues on Rt. 250 and is expected to continue into July.

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