A safer way across

Crews are working to make improvements to traffic signals and crosswalks on brook Road near St. Joseph’s Villa.
A project years in the making is beginning to make life easier for wheelchair-bound residents in Northern Henrico.

The Virginia Department of Transportation is completing a $2-million set of enhancements to the Brook Road corridor in front of St. Joseph's Villa and the Hollybrook Apartments, a community that is home to dozens of disabled residents.

One of those residents, Brian Montgomery, has led the charge for improvements to the corridor for 17 years – ever since he was struck and nearly killed by a car while attempting to cross Brook Road.

The improvements include:

• upgrades to the stoplights on Brook Road in front of the Villa (at Villa Park Drive adjacent to the Hollybrook Apartments and at the entrance to the Villa);

• upgrades to the pedestrian signals at both traffic lights – including the addition of video sensors on the ramps at both crossing points, which can help to detect wheelchairs and change the traffic lights to permit crossing;

• the implementation of wider ramps for wheelchair-bound travelers;

• the addition of new lighting at both traffic lights;

• drainage improvements in front of the Villa entrance to alleviate occasional pooling or flooding issues during heavy rains

The project also is making it even easier for wheelchair riders to trigger traffic signals to stop cars, through the addition of pedestrian signals on separate poles that are easier for some to reach than those on the traffic signal poles.

The project is the second VDOT has undertaken along the corridor. About four years ago, it finished a $3.2-million project that included the implementation of a new southbound travel lane and sidewalks along Brook Road, also designed in part to assist disabled commuters. Henrico County contributed $1 million to the efforts.

About 16,000 cars travel the stretch of Brook Road in front of the Villa daily, according to VDOT Project Manager Adam Brooks.

"My hope is that it is going to improve mobility across those intersections, make them safer,” he said. “What we're ultimately installing is a good fit for the population that uses those areas.”

Once the project is completed, sometime by or before October, residents of Hollybrook will be able to more safely travel along Brook Road from their homes all the way to Parham Road and even as far as J. Sergeant Reynolds’ Parham Road campus, Montgomery said.
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Cyclist killed in crash was 52-year-old man

Henrico Police have named the victim killed June 21 when the bicycle he was riding collided with a truck on Mechanicsville Turnpike near I-64 in Eastern Henrico.

Fifty-two year-old Ray J. Freeman, of Richmond, died at a local hospital after being struck. The truck that hit him was traveling south on Mechanicsville Turnpike. > Read more.

Henrico man sentenced to 10 years in prison for dealing heroin

A Henrico man was sentenced June 20 to 10 years in prison for distribution of heroin.

Arlando Harris, 35, pleaded guilty on Dec. 29, 2016. According to the statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, Henrico Police executed a search warrant at Harris' mother's residence in Henrico on March 16, 2016. > Read more.

Glen Allen HS student earns playwriting residency

A play written by a Glen Allen High School junior was selected, along with seven others, to be performed professionally this summer through a nationally acclaimed Virginia high school playwriting program.

47B, a play written by 16-year-old Glen Allen High school student Dominique Dowling, was chosen by New Voices for the Theater, a playwriting competition sponsored by the School of the Performing Arts in the Richmond Community, from a pool of more than 150 plays by high school students in the state. > Read more.

Missing Eastern Henrico man found dead

Henrico Police have found the body of a missing Eastern Henrico man.

The body of 25-year-old Taj Rashad Bullock, who was last seen June 10 in Eastern Henrico, was found June 20 in a wooded area in that part of the county. > Read more.

Henrico Schools to participate in USDA summer food service

Henrico County Public Schools, through its Division of School Nutrition Services, will participate in the 2017 Summer Food Service Program administered by the US Department of Agriculture. The program provides meals to students enrolled in Henrico Schools summer programs or in those run by the Henrico County Department of Recreation and Parks.

Food service will be provided Monday through Thursday each week. (All sites will be closed Tuesday, July 4, in recognition of Independence Day.) Breakfast will be served from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Lunch will be served between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., but specific lunch times will vary depending on the site. > Read more.

Henrico Business Bulletin Board

June 2017

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Lavender Fields Herb Farm, 11300 Winfrey Rd. in Glen Allen, will offer daily tours (closed Sundays) June 1-30 of the lavender field at 11 a.m. The field is open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Entrance fee to the lavender field is $5 per person and includes 20 fresh cut lavender stems and a sample of lavender ice cream. Family entrance is $20 and includes 80 stems and four sample ice creams. During the tour, learn about the lavender plant itself, as well as about the oil and flowers it produces and how the farm uses them. No registration necessary. For details, call 262-7167 or visit http://www.lavenderfieldsfarm.com. Full text

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