Bell Creek project will now include berm, landscaping

MECHANICVILLE, VA (WWBT) - People living near the intersection of Route 360 and Bell Creek Road are excited, about a change, to an upcoming road project. More than $20 million worth of improvements are about to get underway.

Those plans now include a barrier called a berm -- to protect some homes in the spring meadows neighborhood.

A berm is basically a dirt wall with some landscaping that provides protection for a neighborhood.

"It's going to come up about 8 to 12 feet and they are going to plant foliage on either side of it so when people come out their front door they won't see just four lanes of traffic," said resident Gordon Bengtson.

Crews will soon begin adding a lane to Mechanicsville Turnpike from Interstate 295 approaching Bell Creek and also making Bell Creek Road continuous.

Right now, you have to turn back out onto main highway to get from one side to the other.

The plan includes removing five houses along Sandy Lane and Sandy Circle and any houses left will now sit along a four-lane road.

Longtime neighbor Gordon Bengtson and several others asked the state to consider putting up a barrier wall or privacy fence, but noise and air quality studies did not require that.

With encouragement from Gordon and others, VDOT and the county did decide to put in a berm and some additional landscaping.

Neighbors are happier with the solution.

"They'll see this berm with plants and something kind of pleasing," Gordon said.

And though you will see some crews out preparing the area, the major construction for this project will begin in 2014.

You can find more information about the Route 360 and Bell Creek Road improvement project, on VDOT's website:

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