Work to begin on Midlothian Turnpike

By: Melissa Correa - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A traffic alert for anyone traveling on Richmond's Midlothian Turnpike. Monday morning crews begin work on a two-mile stretch of the road that's prone to flooding. Midlothian Turnpike from Covington Street to Chippenham Parkway and German School Road from Glenway Drive to Warwick Road will be under construction for two years.

That construction project is set to fix flooding along Midlothian Turnpike. A closed drainage system is going to be installed so that when it rains the water doesn't settle on the road but instead flows under it and into Reedy Creek.

In the past heavy rains have triggered terrifying moments along Midlothian Turnpike. With rain in Sunday's forecast, Terlicia Morris is nervous.

"This is a main road that everybody travels," she said. "You know they've got floods and big holes."

In addition to high water, Midlothian Turnpike is plagued by potholes. Richmond road crews quickly patch them, but Monday will be the start of a final solution. Paving, sidewalks, curbs, gutters, street lights and traffic lights -- all going in. But the biggest improvement: covered drainage to stop rain water from spilling onto Midlothian Turnpike.

"I think once the process is done it will be much better for the businesses on Midlothian." said Morris.

Though Issac Almawri doesn't feel the same way.

"Right now the business is already slow," he said.

He works at this store on the corner of Midlothian Turnpike and German School Road. He says the two-year project might as well be a red light for his business.

"I guess that's the only thing I will be busy doing; looking at them fix the roads," he said.

Abdul Alkowadi watched crews widen Reedy Creek in 2008. He says during that time, business dropped by 50 percent. But James Brown, who walks the turnpike everyday, says bring on the upgrade.

"You have to take the bad with the good," he said.

German School Road will get turn lanes, sidewalks, bike lanes and drainage improvements. The cost for both projects is $45 million.

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