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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


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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