Huguenot Bridge closing overnight

At 10 p.m. tonight the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will close the existing Huguenot Bridge to traffic to allow crews to move barriers into position and install pavement markings at the approaches to the new bridge. VDOT expects preparations to be completed and traffic shifted to the new bridge by 10 a.m. Saturday, June 30, weather permitting.

During the overnight closure, drivers are encouraged to use the following alternate routes:

• Northbound Huguenot Road - Chippenham Parkway (Route 150) north over the Willey Bridge to River Road east to Huguenot Road, or use Powhite Parkway (toll) east into Richmond
• Southbound Huguenot Road – River Road west to Chippenham Parkway (Route 150) south to Huguenot Road

This milestone marks the halfway point for the $54.5 million bridge construction project, with approximately one year remaining until the wider and more bike/pedestrian-friendly bridge is complete.

“The 62-year-old bridge is being replaced with a new structure, providing a critical transportation link to the region,” said Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. “Taking traffic off the old bridge and onto the new one means people will have a safer and more reliable way to reach their destination.”

The existing traffic pattern of one travel lane in each direction with no shoulders will remain in place until the second half of the new bridge is ready to receive traffic next summer. In addition, the sidewalk on the new bridge will be closed until approach work on the north end is completed in spring 2013.

After VDOT shifts traffic from the existing Huguenot Memorial Bridge to the first half of the new bridge on Saturday, the public will have the opportunity to walk, bike or picnic on the old bridge Sunday, July 1 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. without disruption from vehicles. Crews will begin demolition of the 62-year-old bridge the following week to make way for the remaining half of the new bridge.

During the event, Huguenot Road traffic will continue to use the new bridge to cross the river. In order to safely access the old bridge, event participants will enter by foot or bike via the closed ramp from Riverside Drive on the south end of the bridge. Parking will be available along Riverside Drive.

Ice chests and folding chairs will be permitted on the bridge. Glass containers and alcohol will not be permitted.

VDOT expects the second half of the new bridge to be completed and open to all travelers in summer 2013 with final project completion in October 2013. Once complete, the new structure will have one 12-foot travel lane and one 10-foot shoulder in each direction. The wider shoulder will function as both an emergency breakdown lane and an area for cyclists to safely use the bridge. In addition, there will be a 5-foot wide sidewalk on each side for pedestrians.

Efforts to build a new bridge to replace the aging Huguenot Memorial Bridge began in October 2010. The Huguenot Bridge spans the James River and connects the city of Richmond to the south and Henrico County to the north via Huguenot Road. Approximately 25,000 vehicles cross the bridge each day.

To find out more about the Huguenot Bridge reconstruction project or to sign up for project updates, visit http://www.huguenotbridge.org.
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Virginia raises a toast to George Washington’s whiskey


George Washington is recognized as the father of our country, but with a bill signed into law by Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Washington also will be recognized under another title – distiller of Virginia’s official liquor.

SB 1261, sponsored by Sen. Adam Ebbin of Alexandria, adds a “state spirit” to the list of the commonwealth’s official emblems and designations and crowns George Washington’s rye whiskey with the title.

The bill, which McAuliffe signed last week, highlights George Washington’s contributions to the culture of Virginia as “a native son of Virginia born on February 22, 1732, in Pope’s Creek”; “the first American president, commander of the Continental Army, and president of the Constitutional Convention”; and “a model statesman ... universally acknowledged as the father of our nation.” > Read more.

McAuliffe vetoes 6 more bills; GOP calls him ‘disengaged’


Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Monday vetoed six bills, including three Republicans said would help prevent voter fraud but the Democratic governor said would create barriers to voting.

McAuliffe has now vetoed 37 bills from the General Assembly’s 2017 session – and 108 during his four-year term as governor, surpassing any of his predecessors.

Republican legislative leaders say McAuliffe has broken his promise to be bipartisan, calling his office “the most disengaged administration we have ever worked with.” > Read more.

HSWCD to give away tree seedlings Thursday and Friday


Henricopolis Soil and Water Conservation District will hold its annual tree seedling giveaway March 30 at Dorey Park Shelter 1 from 2:30 to 6 p.m., and March 31 at Hermitage High School from 8:30 a.m. to noon.

Studies show that mature trees increase property value, decrease summertime cooling costs by providing shade, slow erosion and reduce flooding. They also provide homes for birds, food for countless creatures, and playgrounds for children. > Read more.

Dog rescued, no one injured in Northside townhouse fire


MAR. 27, 11 A.M. – No one was injured by a townhouse fire that occurred early Monday morning in the 200 block of Knightsmanor Court, near the intersection of Azalea Avenue and Richmond-Henrico Turnpike.

The first Henrico Fire officials were on scene in less than four minutes and found heavy smoke and flames coming from the two-story townhouse. Firefighters from the first-arriving fire engine and ladder truck made their way to the townhome involved in fire and searched for victims through high heat and reduced visibility. > Read more.

Walk, ceremony to observe Crime Victims’ Rights Week

In observance of National Crime Victims' Rights Week (April 2-8), and to honor victims of crime in Henrico County and raise awareness about crime victims' rights and issues, Henrico County Victim/Witness will hold a commemorative ceremony and informative walk April 5. > 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

Metro Diner to open second Henrico location


Metro Diner, a comfort food concept, will open its second Henrico location next month. The company is accepting job applications for its Libbie Place location at 5626 West Broad Street. The diner concept, known for its fried chicken and waffles, meatloaf, and shrimp and grits, will bring 100 new jobs to the region as it plans to open its doors in April.

The 3,500-square-foot diner located in the Libbie Place Shopping Center will seat more than 100 and serve classic comfort food staples with a twist, such as fried chicken and waffles topped with strawberry butter and a stuffed challah bread French toast with strawberry and blueberry compote. > Read more.

 

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Henrico County and its Heroin Task Force will present a community summit on heroin and opioid abuse and addiction from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Glen Allen High School. FBI Director James B. Comey will be the keynote speaker. These potent, highly addictive drugs, which include prescription painkillers such as OxyContin and Vicodin, are threatening every community and segment of society, regardless of age or income. The summit will offer information from local community service providers and include a showing of “Chasing the Dragon: The Life of an Opioid Addict.” A panel discussion will follow. Admission is free and open to the public, but registration is required. To register, go to http://HeroinOpioidCommunitySummit.eventbrite.com or call (804) 727-8574. Full text

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