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Some Pocahontas 895 tolls increasing

New rates take effect Feb. 7
Tolls on the Pocahontas Parkway will increase by 25 cents for two-axle passenger vehicles passing through the road's main toll plaza beginning Feb. 7, but only during morning and afternoon commute times.

Drivers will pay more between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. and between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. Tolls will not change during weekends, holidays or other hours.

Tolls also will increase by the same amount for drivers traveling between Interstate 295 and the Laburnum Avenue exit (who do not pass through the main toll plaza), and for multi-axle vehicles, which are currently charged $1 for each additional axle beyond two.

“We hope that limiting the toll increase to only part of the day will make it a little easier for our customers, and give them some flexibility to travel on Pocahontas 895 at a lower rate as their schedules may permit,” said Kevin Longenbach, vice president of operations and development for Transurban, which manages Pocahontas 895.

Transurban and state officials recently opened the 1.6-mile Airport Drive connector road, which links the Pocahontas Parkway to Airport Drive and Richmond International Airport.

“We think customers are getting a lot of value for the extra quarter, especially now that the new Richmond Airport Connector Road is open,” said Longenbach, who oversees the operation of Pocahontas 895. “The Connector offers a no-lights, non-stop route to Richmond International Airport. Drivers may save up to 10 minutes on a trip to catch a plane, especially for those coming from Chesterfield County and the Tri-Cities.”

Pocahontas 895 tolls are controlled by an agreement between VDOT and Transurban (895) LLC entered into in June 2006, when Transurban acquired management rights to the parkway.

The agreement caps toll increases and ensures toll schedules are transparent to the public so that customers always know what the maximum toll can be at any given time.

For details, visiti http://www.pocahontas895.com
Community

Lions Club donates backpacks to elementary school

The Richmond West Breakfast Lions Club (based in western Henrico) recently donated 59 backpacks to the Westover Hills Elementary School on Jahnke Road.

Above, club members display some of the backpacks prior to their distribution. > Read more.

Glen Allen student to perform at Carnegie Hall

Thanks to a first-place win in The American Protege International Vocal Competition 2014, Glen Allen High School student Matija Tomas will travel to New York City to perform at Carnegie Hall in December.

At the first-place winners recital in Weill Hall, Matija will perform Giacomo Puccini’s opera aria, “Chi il bel sogna di doretta.” She will perform with other vocalists from around the world and have the opportunity to win other awards and scholarships.

Locally, Thomas has performed with Richmond’s renowned Glorious Christmas Nights, Christian Youth Theatre, and WEAG’s Urban Gospel Youth Choir. > Read more.

Gayton Baptist Church dedicates new outreach center


The John Rolfe YMCA and Gayton Baptist Church have partnered in an effort to bring greater health and wellness opportunities to the community.

Through this partnership, the John Rolfe Y will run Youth Winter Sports programs, including basketball and indoor soccer, in Gayton’s newly renovated $5.5 million outreach center that features a new gymnasium, youth and teen space, social space with café, meeting space and full service commercial kitchen. > Read more.

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Entertainment

The Boathouse to open at Short Pump Town Center

The Boathouse restaurant will open at Short Pump Town Center in the spring, its third location in the region.

“People have asked us to come to the West End for years,” said owner Kevin Healy. “When the opportunity arose, we knew had to jump on it.”

The new restaurant will be located in a 5,800-square-foot space under the Hyatt House Hotel at the town center and will include a large outdoor patio. > Read more.

Getting a ‘mouf’-ful

Boka Kantina exceeds its strong food truck reputation
Already a fan of Boka fare from outdoor events with the Tako Truck, I was delighted to learn of the new restaurant, and eager to see if its reputation held up after putting down brick-and-mortar roots.

Would the food lose its zest if I wasn’t enjoying it in the great outdoors? Would it seem pedestrian served from an ordinary kitchen instead of a truck?

Would the tacos be less satisfying as an antidote to normal lunch hunger – instead of being ingested to stave off desperate hunger after a long afternoon of crowds, sun, and tedious lines? > Read more.

Lakeside microbrewery beginning to take shape

Original Gravity gets the green light to move forward with relocation, expansion into larger space

A Lakeside home-brewing shop has felt the gravitational pull toward the booming craft beer scene.

Original Gravity, a shop that sells beer and wine kits for homebrewers, has just been given the green light to start work on a microbrewery.

Owner Tony Ammendolia is expanding his 1,000-square-foot shop in Lakeside Town Center to 5,000-square-foot digs a few doors down to add a brewery and expand his supplies.

Ammendolia opened the home-brew supply store in November 2011 and since then he said business has taken off.

“I think I outgrew this place in the first year,” Ammendolia said. “We’ve seen steady growth and I’ve been looking for a place to expand to move the shop to get more square footage.” > Read more.

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