Virginia Beach, Va. - A first of its kind traffic roundabout on Laskin Road opened to Virginia Beach drivers on Wednesday morning.
Part of the 4-year Laskin Road Gateway project, the roundabout is located on Laskin Road just west of Baltic Avenue near the Farm Fresh.
Eastbound traffic on Laskin Road entering the Gateway will be able to use the roundabout to get to Pinewood Road and 32nd Street.
Westbound traffic leaving the Oceanfront will enter the roundabout from the 30th Street extension.
Westbound traffic leaving the Oceanfront and traveling down 32nd Street does not need to enter the roundabout and can simply use the two bypass lanes to merge directly onto westbound Laskin Road.
The opening of the roundabout is the last major part of the Laskin Road Gateway project that began in 2009.
Project Manager Chris Wojtowicz says with the traffic roundabout open, the fourth and final phase of construction is 75% complete.
"We’re pretty excited about it. It marks a major milestone of the project that was the most critical item traffic wise on this project," Wojtowicz explained.
Virginia Beach wanted the traffic roundabout opened before the Memorial Day weekend which marks the start of the busy summer season at the Oceanfront.
Most drivers seemed to handle the new traffic pattern with ease, though some were heistant, which Wojtowicz says is to be expected.
"There’s going to be a learning curve here for folks to get used it, but I think they will find that it’s a much more efficient intersection to move traffic through this area," Wojtowicz explained.
Remaining construction work on Laskin Road, including putting utilities underground is scheduled to be complete later this summer.