Henrico man Calls 12 for help with flat tires

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) – Something's been ripping up a ton of tires in Henrico, and now one neighbor is Calling 12 for help getting it fixed. It's happening in the West End, at the intersection of Staples Mill and Hungary Roads.

Russell Dandridge has lived in Henrico's West end for 20 years, 13 of which were spent getting in his car and driving to Richmond's Southside. But there was always something unusual about the commute.

"I thought it might have been nails that fell off a construction truck," he said.

It turns out, the problem wasn't a nail. It was this...the metal storm drain with a very sharp edge at the corner of Hungary and Staples Mill Roads.

"It's going to cut the sidewall and make the tire useless," Dandridge explained.

Russell says it's made driving a pain for so many people who make a right turn just a little too sharply. So after months of writing e-mails to the county, he Called 12 for help.

One of the trickier things to figure out was who's responsible. Now, it looks like it's part of Hungary Road, which would've made it a county issue. But it's not. It's actually part of the Staples Mill right-of-way, which makes this a state problem.

We went to VDOT for an explanation. Spokesperson Taya Jarman said, "The travel lanes are completely safe and far enough away to accommodate normal vehicles."

Even so, work crews eventually sanded down the sharp edge and put in new concrete. But Russell's not entirely impressed.

RUSSELL: "Then finally, they installed these three yellow pylons, one of which has already been hit."
ANDY: "Yeah."

He suggests extending the concrete curbing farther out away from the metal. Until that happens, Russell's keeping his Cadillac Escalade and its $300 tires as far away as possible.

ANDY: "You're pretty much thinking it will happen again?"
RUSSELL: "Yes. I believe it will."

Since the fix, Russell says the number of flats he's seen has gone down from two to three per week, to only six in the past several months. But that's still six too many, if you ask him.

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