Traffic changes coming to Downtown Expressway

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -- A major traffic alert if you use the Downtown Expressway. Starting Wednesday at 7 p.m., the on-ramp at Cumberland Street onto the westbound side of Expressway will be shutting down for 30 days. Also, there will be lane shifts on the westbound side as well.

The Downtown Expressway is apart of Julian Bower's drive everyday. He simply can't avoid it. "It's going to be chaos for a couple of days. Then we'll realize there's nothing we can do it about it," he said. 

He's talking about having to find another way to get onto the expressway once this ramp is temporarily closed.

"I have a bike, so I'll be alright for right now," adds Bowers.

Construction crews are starting prep work in order to change the main toll plaza along the Expressway. Eventually, there will be Express EZ Pass lanes on the westbound side.

In order to widen the road, this ramp will shut down for about a month. "We'll start doing some shoulder improvements so that it can handle traffic later than it can not handle now," said David Caudill with the Richmond Metropolitan Authority.

That's not the only change you'll see. By Thursday morning, the traffic pattern on the westbound side heading into Chesterfield will be shifted slightly.

"It'll be a minor shift to slide to the left not only at this ramp, but close to the toll plaza too," says Caudill. 

So add some time to your commute, because the detour around the ramp closure is all the way back at 2nd Street.

"The inconvenience, we don't want to put on our customers but in this case we are limited in our choices," Caudill said.

Choices that people are like Julian hope work out in the end. "I'm sure it's a good idea to somebody. We'll see in the long run," says Julian.

The entire project transforming this poll plaza is set to be complete by September of next year.

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