Road Project moves forward in Petersburg

PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) - A busy stretch of road in Petersburg will soon get a major makeover. The city is moving forward with plans to widen a portion of Rives Road. The project is now in the design phase.

Nearly a half mile of the road, between the intersection of South Crater Road and the I-95 interchange, will be improved. Plans include a bike lane, sidewalks, curb and gutter, and a widening of lanes.

The city says the half million dollar project is needed to accommodate potential development and to help improve road safety.

"This is one of our major east/west corridors. We're getting a lot of heavy truck traffic that comes off 95 at that interchange and it's a very narrow road," said City Engineer, Mike Briddell.

The project is listed as the city's top priority in its six year plan with the state Department of Transportation. Those who travel on Rives Road regularly have mixed opinions on the project.

"I think it's fine. They don't need to do nothing to it," said one motorist.

"It'll be fine. We really need it," said another motorist.

Willie Edlow lives on Rives Road. He has one major concern about the project.

"I'm worried about losing property to the widening process and if you're talking about bike trails and stuff like that, I don't see where it's going to go without taking some of our property," said Edlow.

NBC12 took Edlow's concerns to the city.

"We anticipate most of the widening to be to the south and the homes that are there would end up with a new road in front of it," said Briddell.

Nicole Bell: "So this project won't impact those homes?"

"No I don't suspect they would be," said Briddell.

City council will vote next week to appropriate funds for the project. The road project is being funded with federal, state and city dollars. Construction is expected to get underway next year.

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