During the July 7 Emporia City Council meeting, Emporia Deputy Director of Public Services Alton Mason suggested installing a pedestrian crosswalk at the intersection of U.S. 58 and Purdy Road. Last week, Mason again brought the matter before the City’s governing body. The Council unanimously adopted a resolution of support for the project.
“For the last two years, we have observed a lot of foot traffic across the intersection after 5 p.m., Mason said. “The crosswalk would provide workers and travelers safe access to eating establishments, meet the bus, and other transportation.”
The estimated $380,000 project calls for the crosswalk’s installation on the east side of the intersection. The Virginia Department of Transportation supports and would administer the plan.
Seven eating establishments, five motels, and three convenience stores surround the proposed crosswalk site.
The installation of no parking signs along the Wiggins Road access came following a wreck. The driver of a vehicle attempted to pass a truck to go to a restaurant. Councilman Woody Harris said the signs have been beneficial but agreed with Mason’s assessment that the addition of a pedestrian crosswalk is vital.
“It’s a challenge,” Harris said. “Especially if you’re as slow as I am, to crossing the street to get from one side to the other of those four lanes of traffic easily. So, I think this is great.”
Councilman Jim Saunders approved of Harris’ assessment but didn’t refrain from taking a friendly jab at his fellow council member.
“I agree with Mr. Harris,” Saunders said. “Once it’s put in, maybe they’ll just put enough time so Mr. Harris can get across at that intersection.”
The deadline for the application for the VDOT Small Scale Grant Program is Aug. 17. Mason said no funds from the City are required for the project, and the funds would be available by FY26, if not earlier.