Berryville is a small and historically significant town in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, which serves as the county seat of Clarke County. Recognizing the town’s proximity to major arterial roads, both the town of Berryville and Clarke County have long envisioned a Southeastern Collector to encourage development and enhance connectivity. Before the transportation project could be realized, a number of issues needed to be addressed. PRIME AE was selected to undertake the task of determining the optimal integration of existing roadways, establishing a connection across the Norfolk Southern Rail Line, and devising a viable financing plan for the connector roadway.
In partnership with local stakeholders, PRIME AE embarked on a thorough examination of the project’s impact on the small town. The feasibility of a new crossing over the Norfolk Southern emerged as the central issue during this study. Additionally, more traditional concerns arose, such as assessing the suitability of an improved unpaved roadway of the Southeastern Connector, estimating the extent of associated development, and identifying any significant historical properties or other resource constraints. The study successfully addressed these and other key questions, providing valuable insights.
The cornerstone of the project’s success was a comprehensive traffic study conducted by our team. To determine changes in traffic patterns, we employed the microsimulation AIMSUN in conjunction with Dynamic Route Assignment (DRA). This combination enabled accurate predictions of new congestion resulting from the anticipated development. The DRA analysis considered various alternative methods, including one that proposed a bypass of downtown Berryville to determine which would have the best impact on local traffic. Our team established a strong partnership with Norfolk Southern, engaging in extensive coordination throughout the study. This collaboration allowed us to determine the conditions for which a new at-grade crossing would be acceptable to the railroad. We conducted several meetings that allowed us to make recommendations to the town without extensive engineering or additional study.
PRIME AE completed preliminary concept engineering at a scale and level of detail that adequately assessed the impacts on cultural resources, community facilities, and environmental features, giving the town of Berryville valuable insight to make the best transportation decisions for their community. Through the meticulous integration of connectivity and sustainability, the Southeast Collector design endeavors to enhance the town’s transportation infrastructure while respecting its cultural heritage and ecological surroundings.