Richmond begins paving push on city streets

By Rachel DePompa - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Dozens of Richmond roads are getting a fresh coat of asphalt this Summer. The city wants to pave a third of all neighborhood streets in just four years.

Broad is the battleground for most of the Summer for City road crews. Leaders are embarking on a $550,000 improvement project. The goal is to pave all of Broad Street -- county line to county line -- in three years.

"It's a main thoroughfare through the city. It gives people a sense of Richmond," said Richmond Chief Administrative Officer Byron Marshall.

Crews are replacing old and battered sidewalks, planting new trees and re-landscaping the medians.

Joseph Kakish owns the Subway restaurant on the corner of 4th and Broad streets. He says he's willing to put up with a little inconvenience out his store window if it will increase his bottom line.

"There's a few blocks here that needs to be fixed also, but it's a step in the right direction. We're very looking forward to it," said Kakish.

By the end of the summer, the city will have spent more than $12 in two years on paving -- a boost that was called for by Mayor Dwight Jones and approved by the Richmond City Council.

"People will get a better driving experience while they are in the city, a better impression of the city," said Marshall.

The city decided which streets to start with based on a 2006 study of the roads. All of Church Hill, Swansboro and Washington Park will be paved this year. Broad Street from Belvidere to Boulevard and Kensington Avenue from Maple to Henri are just a few of many more on the list.

"Our goal is to get all the streets in a normal cycle so that within five to seven years every street is repaired or maintained," said Marshall.

City leaders will re-evaluate the streets this year to see where they stand and to determine what other road are in urgent need of repair.

To find out if your neighborhood makes the cut, click on the link at right.

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