Section of Lee Highway to close; detour includes new roundabout

BRISTOL, VA (WJHL) – Beginning on Saturday, a popular road in Bristol, Virginia will close for construction and will remain closed until next August.

A stretch of Lee Highway will close so crews can widen the road.

That means traffic will be detoured onto The Falls property.

“We’ll have a detour which will come off of Cabela’s Drive up through The Falls development,” said Captain Maynard Ratcliff with the Bristol, Virginia Police Department.

But drivers will notice a new addition: a roundabout.

It’s the first one in Bristol, Virginia and drivers are already confused.

Within five minutes, News Channel 11 witnessed two drivers using the roundabout incorrectly.

“We are a little concerned about the roundabout. From what we’ve seen since they’ve opened it up a lot of people are pretty unfamiliar with the roundabout,” Captain Ratcliff said.

He said using a roundabout is pretty simple.

“You enter the roundabout, you go around the circle, other streets intersect with the roundabout at different locations and basically you just go around the circle until you find the street that you want,” he said.

Those inside of the roundabout have the right of way.

“It’s kind of like a carousel. You get on the carousel and you can ride it all day long. You can go around that circle all day long if you wish. But whenever you get to your street, you just turn and get off,” he explained.

Dale Smith lives in Bristol. He said he hasn’t used the roundabout yet and he thinks the change might be messy for a few days, but hopes people will get used to the change quickly.

“Probably for a little bit then people will get used to it,” Smith said.

The detour will remain in place until August 1, 2018.

Copyright 2017 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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