• September 24, 2023

Bojangles renovation at Plateau Plaza to alleviate traffic backups on Wirtz Road

An upcoming expansion to the Bojangles along U.S. 220 in Franklin County should help with congested traffic on Wirtz Road.

The Bojangles is part of the Plateau Plaza gas station complex, which also includes a Dairy Queen, AEI Food Store and an Exxon Mobile gas station. The project, dubbed the Plateau Plaza Expansion, should add parking spaces and expand the building and Bojangles drive-thru.

Currently, the Plaza is home to one of Franklin County’s more congested intersections. Vehicles turning into the gas station and Bojangles drive-thru line often back up onto Wirtz Road and U.S. 220. The expansion should address that congestion by moving the Plaza entrance further down Wirtz Road and lengthening and extending the Bojangles drive-thru to two lanes.

“The double drive-thru lanes will give me up to 18 cars in the line. Right now, we can have six,” David Arrington — the president of Arrington Properties, the company that owns the Plaza property — said Dec. 20 at a Franklin County Board of Supervisors meeting.

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Arrington said his conversations with personnel from the Virginia Department of Transportation left him with the impression that they would be able to make the changes to the entrance and drive-thru work.

“Getting the traffic off of Wirtz Road so it doesn’t back up onto 220 is a positive. All of us have been in that area, whether you’re trying to get into Bojangles or go to the church or just go straight down Wirtz Road,” Franklin County Planning Director Lisa Cooper said.

Another reason for the expansion, Arrington said, was the fact that the Bojangles has outgrown its facility.

“We’re wanting to put the kitchen completely on the back of the building,” Arrington said.

He said they plan to do that by extending the back of the building out by 20 feet.

“About half of that will be the new Bojangles kitchen and we’ll have new restrooms on one end and the other end will be just storage rooms for Dairy Queen,” Arrington said.

The expansion has also provided an opportunity to clean up some zoning in the area. Previously, the lot housing the Bojangles and the two lots behind it were zoned differently. After the Dec. 20 approval from the Franklin County Board of Supervisors, though, the county will proceed with consolidating the three lots into one lot with planned commercial district zoning.

Arrington owns a house behind the Bojangles, which — thanks to the rezoning and lot consolidation — will no longer straddle a property line between two differently-zoned parcels. It will now rest on the same, consolidated parcel as the Bojangles. On Dec. 20 , the supervisors approved a special-use permit to allow continued use of the house as a residence in the planned commercial district.

“The applicant does plan to rent the structure, and I think he’s thinking long term rental,” Cooper said.

Arrington said he hopes to complete the planning for the expansion in 2023.

“In 2024 we look to start construction,” Arrington said. “And then as we move through the construction, we hope to do a remodel of the Bojangles side first, coming around to the Dairy Queen and redoing that, coming through the lobby and convenience store — maybe in three different parts, I’m not sure, but that’s our plan.”

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