Sleep-deprived neighbors question Henrico road project

By Andy Jenks - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Neighbors in Henrico's Lakeside area are going nocturnal thanks to a noisy road project. It's taking place on Hilliard Road, between Staples Mill Road and Lakeside Avenue.

All you can see on Hilliard Road now, is that the pavement is torn up. The work is part of a VDOT milling and paving project. Some very sleep-deprived neighbors are wondering why this has to be done only at night?

It's louder than a lawnmower, and more clamorous than a chainsaw. But no one can see it during the day. Neighbors say, trust us, it's there.

92-year-old Dorothy Burton will look out her window at 1:00 a.m. She'll see work crews tearing up Hilliard Road as part of a routine maintenance project. The problem is all of the work is taking place overnight, and she can't get to sleep.

"Last night, I didn't turn the air conditioning on. And I raised my window, and the noise...was terrific," Burton said.

"Terrific" in this case, is not a good thing. Not if you're Ricky Mari...whose kids have to sleep during the day, because at night it's nearly impossible.

"The noise, it shaking the whole house man. The machine is so close to the road," Mari said.

Neighbors wonder, why the work can't be done during the day? A VDOT spokesperson says it's because too many cars use Hilliard Road.

"It's a lose/lose situation because people complain about the condition of the road, but then people complain if we try to fix it. So we try to do work with the least amount of inconvenience," said Taya Jarman of VDOT.

The work will be complete in about week. Until then, there appear to be more long nights ahead.

"No, we don't sleep," Mari said.

Added Burton, "If I get past my bedtime it's always hard for me to go back to sleep."

It's unlikely that the neighbors' concerns will change the schedule for the project. The permit specifically calls for the work to be done in the overnight hours.

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