RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – As we head into 2011 a portion of Midlothian Turnpike is getting a makeover as part of a plan to end the flooding problem there.
Midlothian Turnpike from Covington Street to Chippenham Parkway and German School Road from Glenway Drive to Warwick Road will soon be under construction. The goal: to fix the drainage problems into nearby Reedy Creek.
The businesses are going to stay open even though some lanes are closed along Midlothian. While traffic might be backed up, business owners and neighbors welcome the road construction.
Scenes of flooding on Midlothian Turnpike have become all too familiar, but drivers and even some cars find themselves swimming in the street almost every time in rains.
Thankfully starting Monday, a multi-million dollar construction project is expected to begin to fix the flooding problem, this time hopefully for good.
"What happens is the water does not go through large enough pipes to flow to the Reedy Creek so what we're going to do is put larger pipes so the water can go to Reedy Creek and drain the roadway," said Marvin Tart with the city of Richmond.
When the area floods, the water levels can be two, three and sometimes even four feet high. And while this construction is a bit inconvenient for some of the neighbors that live here, they feel that the improvements are necessary.
"We certainly hope that the disruption to the business will be minimal," said Jim Gibson owner of Reconditioned Business Furniture.
Reconditioned Business Furniture is one of the neighboring businesses along this stretch of Midlothian. The owner is concerned that construction might take away from his bottom line.
"We're trying to get the word out that we're going to continue to be open even though they may be blocking our road we're going to try and limit that," said Gibson.
And from Midlothian to a simultaneous project on German School Road neighbors are finding ways to deal with the traffic headaches and are more excited to see the addition of sidewalks in their neighborhood.
"This is a very bad dangerous road," said Stephanie Czerwik. "Well I'm going to turn my music up and put my earphones on and try not to look!"
This construction project will cost more than $45 million. It's expected to be completed over the next two years. City officials plan to keep traffic going during construction. At least two lanes in each direction will remain open to traffic at all times.