Henrico County VA
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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.”


Community

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden raises admission $1

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s admission has increased by $1 across all categories. Admission is now $12 for adults; $11 for seniors ages 55 and older; and $8 for children ages 3–12. Admission remains free for children ages 3 and younger and for members.

The last price increase was in 2011, before the Garden consistently hosted Butterflies LIVE! (which is included with admission). > Read more.

Garden tails

The threat of bad weather didn’t keep visitors away from Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden July 10 for the facility’s weekly Flowers After 5 event (which pairs music and food with a chance to stroll the garden) and its monthly Fidos After 5 (which allows dog owners to bring their pets with them to enjoy the evening). > Read more.

Western Henrico Rotary helps fund Midwives For Haiti Jeep


Thanks in part to a $10,000 gift from the Western Henrico Rotary Club, another bright pink Jeep modified to travel extremely rough terrain has been delivered to Midwives For Haiti so that more pregnant women in the quake-ravaged country will have access to prenatal care and a greater chance of surviving childbirth.

The funds were raised at the annual casino night held in February, club president Adam Cherry said. The Rotary Club also helped purchase the Virginia-based charity’s first pink jeep three years ago. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


Take in a show at several locations this weekend! West End Comedy will provide laughs at HATTheatre; the production of “Pump Boys and Dinettes” will close Sunday; and the youth theatre company CharacterWorks will present “Footloose” at The Steward School. Another show perfect for the kids – “Despicable Me 2” is playing at the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center tonight. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Is there an Echo in here?

‘Earth to Echo’ aims to become this generation’s ‘ET’
It’s no secret that all found-footage genre movies are the same. Grab a couple of characters, give one of them a camera, and expose them to something supernatural that’s content to lurk just off-screen until the last five minutes. Everything else will just fall into place.

But that formula isn’t particularly family friendly, if only because that thing waiting a few feet to the left of the cast is usually plotting their violent doom.

That’s what sets Earth to Echo apart from the pack. It, too, follows a group of characters armed with a camera and a tendency to encounter unknown life forms. But all those familiar parts have been rearranged just enough to make it suitable for a much younger audience. > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


An eclectic array of events are taking place this weekend throughout the county. In the West End, we have the Richmond Wedding Expo, the Under the Stars Family Film Series and Henrico Theatre Company’s production of “Pump Boys and Dinettes.” In the eastern part of the county, we have a blood drive at the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center, Gallmeyer Farm’s annual Sweet Corn Festival and an origami workshop at Fairfield Library. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

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