Flooding on Midlothian Turnpike strands drivers, more work on the way

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Monday morning brought heavy rainfall to the area, which lead to many streets flooding in and around the city. One of the worst spots was on Midlothian Turnpike where several cars were stranded and water levels reached about 4 feet deep. Some of the rain water went onto East German School Road.

This is all right across the street from where major improvements were completed recently on the Reedy Creek. We got to the city to find out what needs to be done to fix the problem now on Midlothian Turnpike.

One man sat on the roof of his car waiting. A cab driver, is rescued from his stranded ride. This, his first week driving the cab.

Then, there is a newspaper delivery driver with a pick up loaded with newspapers, soaked. The car stranded and the driver talking to NBC 12.

"See, I knew about it so that's what pisses me off," says the driver. "I knew about it. But, I didn't think it'd be this deep yet."

She drove through earlier this morning-without a problem. But it was totally different on her second try. "She (her car) went 'womp'. There's nothing we can do. I thought I could make it."

But, there is something the city is planning on doing to fix the problem here. The plan is to use about $39 million worth of changes, in a project they call a major priority.

A quick glance at the area and the problem can be seen: drainage issues. Public Works says although Reedy Creek is improved and ready to handle all the water, the drainage between Cippenham Parkway and Belt Boulevard is not adequate enough to get it there. So, they are planning on adding drains, curbs and other improvements to the 2 mile stretch. It's work, the city says was already planned but could not be done all at once because of the money factor.

"There will be plenty of opportunity for the excess water to run off into Reedy Creek, so that should eliminate any problems," says Sharon North with Public Works.

It's a 2 year project expected to go to bid this fall and start in the spring. We're told the project is on schedule.

"Of course, if you live out there it's behind schedule. People that live out there wanted it done 20 years ago," admits Sharon.

Until then, when it rains, scenes like the one we had on Monday could be waiting. But, it won't stop one delivery driver from getting her routine, done. "I do have a choice. I could have called my manager and tell him I could not make it. No, they are going to get delivered. Like I said, they may be a little late, but they are going to get delivered," says the driver.

The city tells me the project is being partially funded by stimulus money.

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