Major road projects started today

By: Laura Geller - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Crews started two large construction projects that could cause some major headaches for drivers in the coming days.

We're talking about the possibility of lane closures, weight limits and parking restrictions. The most important thing to remember: follow the signs.

If you don't, you could end up at the mercy of a tow truck.

Cracks, holes, patches -- it's a bumpy ride if you're driving through Richmond's Museum District.

"You kind of have to watch where you're going," said resident Erin Makara. "There's traffic all the time so you're trying to swerve out of the pot holes and try not to hit other cars."

City leaders are hoping to ease that frustration when crews finish more than a $1 million worth of resurfacing projects in June.

Monday morning, a project was started on Monument Avenue between the Boulevard and Thompson Street.

Makara's apartment will be right in the middle of the construction zone.

"For me, because I park on this street every day and I go to work every day, it will be a little frustrating but in the long run I think it's a good idea," he said.

The stretch is part of the 2010 plan to resurface over 100 line miles of Richmond roads.

The city is asking for patience, especially when it comes to what's bound to be a tough parking situation.

Moving up river to the Huguenot Bridge it's hard to miss the large weight restriction signs.

A three-ton weight limit will be in place for the next three weeks as VDOT repairs a concrete pier cap.

"There's been some confusion with SUV drivers," said VDOT spokesperson Dawn Eischen. "In the majority of SUVs, if it's just one or two people in it, you're fine. But if it is fully loaded then yes, you are above the weight limit in many cases."

VDOT is trying not to inconvenience drivers, most of the work will take place under the bridge.

"There may be some periodic stopping of traffic to get materials on and off the bridge but really there shouldn't be a whole lot of delay for people," she said.

The repairs on the Huguenot Bridge are expected to take about three weeks.

Drivers throughout Richmond, not just on Monument, will notice construction crews for the next five years.

The work is part of the mayor's plan to repave 25 percent of city streets in that time period.

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