Repaving season underway in Henrico

Springtime is here, which means busy work for the Virginia Department of Transportation’s (VDOT) Richmond District as pavement improvement season begins. For many motorists and Richmond area residents, this will mean smoother driving surfaces by year’s end but also some congestion and traffic along the way.

Repaving season usually extends between April and November. This year, VDOT will spend approximately $116 million to resurface 2,000 lane miles of state-maintained routes in the region.

The state is responsible for road work on interstates and any road that carries a route number (such as West Broad Street/Route 250), while Henrico County is responsible for maintaining all other roads within its borders.

Henrico and Arlington are the only two localities in the state that maintain their own roads. Both counties receive a lump sum payment from the state each year for road maintenance and then decide how to allocate the money.

Normally, Henrico spends more than $5 million a year on paving projects but the amount varies depending upon other road maintenance needs. Maintenance funding comes from the state gas tax and is used for all maintenance activities, not just paving. Maintenance payments are based on the miles of road in the system, which is currently 3,426 in Henrico.

According to VDOT, primary routes in Richmond District will receive 570 lane miles of asphalt paving, repair and/or slurry seal totaling $64 million. These routes are numbered 1 to 599 and include major roads and highways.

Currently VDOT is adding a southbound lane and a sidewalk on Brook Road (Route 1) from Villa Park Drive to Parham Road with an expected completion date of November. Also, concrete patching will take place on seven miles of I-295 in Henrico just north of the Varina-Enon Bridge through October and involve multiple single-lane closures and weeknight double-lane closures. Interior lighting work will also be done on the Varina-Enon Bridge by Dorey Electric Company as they received $2.9 million contract for the project which will be completed by February 2013.

Commuters should expect southbound traffic to remain in one lane from Three Chopt Road until south of the Huguenot Bridge as construction has begun, while northbound traffic will remain one lane until Huguenot Road widens at River Road. In late summer into early fall, all Riverside Drive ramps on the south end of Huguenot Bridge will be closed until spring 2013.

VDOT Commissioner of Highways Greg Whirley recently approved multiple contracts this month totaling approximately $18.8 million for Richmond District construction and maintenance. A $2.4 million contract was awarded to B.P. Short & Son Paving Co. Inc. for surface treatment in various locations throughout the Richmond District between June 2012 and December 2012. Pavement resurfacing will be completed in various locations in the Richmond District as Templeton Paving LLC received $4.7 million with an expected completion time of December 2012. Slurry Pavers Inc. was also awarded a contract for $3.8 million for resurfacing various primary routes in the the Richmond District, which will be completed by December 2012.

One of the roads that has undergone a major facelift is New Market Road (Route 5) in Eastern Henrico, more than two miles of which recently were repaved recently. Charles City Road (Route 156) in Eastern Henrico also will be repaved, as well as Pouncey Tract Road (Route 271) in the Far West End. Other major roads undergoing repaving through Henrico this season are Parham Road, West End Drive, Carolina Avenue, Nuckols Road, Glenside Drive, Shrader Road and Woodman Road.

Summer months are ideal for repaving and most of the projects will be completed before the winter. “We want the road surfaces to be generally dry and there’s a better chance of that in sumer,” said Steve Yob, Henrico’s director of Public Works. “Also, asphalt is applied hot so if the temperature is cold it might cool off to the point where its not usable. It’s more desirable to do them in the warm months of the year than the winter.

VDOT contracts are awarded to private companies in the late fall and winter for the following year. The paving contractor plans out the schedule of when each route will be repaved, and VDOT holds the contractor accountable to complete each contract by the expected end date. However, exact dates are difficult to calculate because of the weather, which can cause repaving projects to be rescheduled or shifted to different areas.

Henrico officials determine which roads need to be repaved by using a roadway analyzer, Yob said, which is a vehicle that drives on the roads and assesses the conditions of the pavements, while making observations on cracks and distressed areas. Experienced maintenance personnel also help determine which roads are in the most need, he said.

VDOT uses roadway analyzers as well but also tests the pavement condition on all interstates and primary roads to see where the condition falls on a scale of 1 to 100 on a critical condition index. If the score falls below 60 it is in the “poor” category and below 50 is “very poor.” The score helps determine which sections of the road are in greatest need and are effected by vehicle load, weather and the environment, said Sundra Hominik, VDOT’s public affairs specialist.
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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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The Museum District Association’s 23rd annual Mother’s Day House & Garden Tour will take place from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. The tour provides a rare opportunity for guests to go inside some of Richmond’s most beautiful and historic homes, gardens and institutions. The hospitality center is located at the Virginia Historical Society. A tour trolley will run continuously between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. Tour proceeds benefit non-profit agencies in the Richmond area and help protect and beautify this historic neighborhood. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 the day of. For details, visit http://www.museumdistrict.org. Full text

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