Airport Connector Road to Open

Road Links 895 with Richmond International Airport
Getting to Richmond International Airport is about to get a little faster.

The 1.6-mile Airport Connector road – which links Airport Drive with the Pocahontas Parkway (Route 895) – opened to the public Jan. 14, culminating a two-year construction period and years of planning. The new route, constructed by Transurban as part of the state's Public Private Transportation Act, provides a more direct link to the airport from points south via the Pocahontas Parkway and I-295.

Varina District Supervisor Jim Donati addresses
guests at a ceremony to celebrate the opening of the
Airport Connector.
The new road connects to the existing portion of Airport Drive at Charles City Road, then travels through the Seven Hills industrial park and connects with the Pocahontas Parkway, where travelers can head south to I-95 or north to I-295.

The road is considered an extension of the Pocahontas Parkway, so commuters who travel both will pay just one toll. Only customers using the Airport Drive Connector and traveling between the airport and Interstate 295 will pay $1.25 at the ramp linking the connector to Pocahontas 895. The toll will be collected electronically, with payment made by E-ZPass or Visa/Mastercard credit or debit cards. Other commuters will pay their normal tolls on 895.

Officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony today to celebrate the road's completion and take a tour of the new road.

“The Airport Connector Road is a showcase of how the commonwealth can use public-private partnerships to create jobs, improve our transportation network and strengthen our economy,” Virginia Secretary of Transportation Sean T. Connaughton said.

Transurban, the long-term manager that operates and maintains Pocahontas 895, agreed to finance and construct the nearly $50 million Airport Connector Road as part of a public-private partnership with VDOT established in 2006. The project did not require Virginia taxpayer funding and was supported through a loan provided by the federal government and backed by Transurban.

“As a long-term operator, Transurban is always looking at ways to improve service for its customers and work collaboratively with its partners, “said Tony Adams, Transurban’s vice president, major projects. “This project will benefit the airport, local travelers and businesses and fulfills a long-term goal of VDOT and Henrico County.”
Bail Bonds Chesterfield VA

Democrat VanValkenburg kicks off Gen. Assembly campaign


Senior students at Glen Allen High School will get a personal touch when studying elections with their AP government teacher.

That teacher, Schuyler VanValkenburg, recently announced his intention to seek the Democratic nomination for the 72nd District seat in the House of Delegates. If he earns the nomination, he will run against Del. Jimmie Massie, R-Henrico, who has been unopposed for 10 years.

VanValkenburg, a 2004 University of Richmond alumnus who majored in history, is running for office for the first time. Although he has lived in Richmond since he began his undergraduate studies, aside from one year spent in Seattle, he said he never felt it was his time to run. > Read more.

Construction begins on JA Finance Park at Libbie Mill


School and business leaders from around the region, including (pictured, from left) Simon Hodges of Dominion Resources, Daphne Swanso(president of Junior Achievement of Central Virginia) and Henrico County Manager John Vithoulkas, gathered at Libbie Mill Library Feb. 23 for the Junior Achievement Finance Park construction kickoff. > Read more.

Assembly poised to OK state budget on Friday


Finishing a day early, House and Senate negotiators agreed on a budget Wednesday that includes employee pay raises and more money for K-12 education and mental health.

The negotiators presented their budget to their fellow lawmakers in time for the required 48-hour review, which could be completed by Friday night with a chance to adjourn their 2017 session before Saturday’s target date.

Republican leaders in the House and Senate praised the spending plan’s conservative fiscal policies. > Read more.

Section of Charles City Road to close beginning Feb. 26


A section of Charles City Road, from Lewis Road to South Airport Drive, will be closed beginning Sunday, Feb. 26 as part of a project to widen and improve the road.

The Henrico County Department of Public Works expects the closure to last for a few weeks.

Westbound traffic on Charles City will be detoured around the work zone by way of South Airport, Seven Hills Boulevard and Laburnum Avenue. > Read more.

ACLU urges McAuliffe to veto anti-immigration bills


Officials with the American Civil Liberties Union called on Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Wednesday to veto Republican-backed legislation banning local governments in Virginia from designating themselves as sanctuaries for undocumented immigrants. They also said they plan to fight federal and state policies that they believe violate immigrants’ rights.

At a news conference, representatives of the ACLU of Virginia and other civil rights organizations criticized anti-immigrant measures passed by the General Assembly. They also condemned the recent spike in deportation raids on immigrant communities in Virginia by federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement, as well as President Donald Trump’s recent executive order banning immigrants from seven mostly Muslim countries. > Read more.
Community

Villa’s Flagler Housing wins national NAEH award


St. Joseph's Villa’s Flagler Housing & Homeless Services was one of three entities to earn the National Alliance to End Homelessness' Champion of Change Award. The awards were presented Nov. 17 during a ceremony at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

NAEH annually recognizes proven programs and significant achievements in ending child and family homelessness.

Flagler completed its transition from an on-campus shelter to the community-based model of rapid rehousing in 2013, and it was one of the nation's first rapid re-housing service providers to be certified by NAEH. > Read more.

RIR’s Christmas tree lighting rescheduled for Dec. 12


Richmond International Raceway's 13th annual Community Christmas tree lighting has been rescheduled from Dec. 6 to Monday, Dec. 12, at 6:30 p.m., due to inclement weather expected on the original date.

Entertainment Dec. 12 will be provided by the Laburnum Elementary School choir and the Henrico High School Mighty Marching Warriors band. Tree decorations crafted by students from Laburnum Elementary School and L. Douglas Wilder Middle School will be on display. Hot chocolate and cookies will be supplied by the Henrico High School football boosters. > Read more.
Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


Given the warm weather lately, Saturday’s RVA Polar Plunge Winter Fest, benefiting Special Olympics Virginia, might actually be enjoyable! Other weekend events you’re sure to enjoy include the 14th annual Richmond Kids Expo at the Richmond Raceway Complex, the Richmond Symphony and The Taters in concert at The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen, and the Richmond Ballet Minds in Motion Team XXL performing at the Henrico Theatre. This is also the last weekend to check out HATTheatre’s production of “Bill W. and Dr. Bob.” For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

 

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Big Brothers Big Sisters will host its annual fundraiser Bowl for Kids’ Sake from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at AMF Sunset Lanes, 6540 W. Broad St. To register, visit http://tinyurl.com/RichmondBowl2017. Full text

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