HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - A road project 40 years in the making finally opened for drivers Tuesday, and officials hope it could save residents a lot of time. Phase II was the final step of the John Rolfe Parkway, connecting Ridgefield Parkway to Pump Road.
The road is meant to provide direct North-South access to West Broad Street, alleviating traffic headaches for drivers.
There was the official ceremony, but moments later the real test: the John Rolfe Parkway saw its first travelers.
"It provides that North-South direct access to West Broad Street through a heavily dense area of Henrico County," said County Manager Virgil Hazelett. "In an essence, it relieves the other roadways, it relieves turning movement on Broad Street. It'll provide quicker travel time, ease quite frankly travel to and from broad street and on the West End."
Jeff McAllister already knows how much time the parkway should save him: "Probably a good 9 minutes to be exact."
He's been driving on West Broad Street, and says he spends a lot of time in traffic. Not anymore.
"I'm really excited about it for real," exclaimed McAllister. "Because in the morning , I have a little girl so I get kind of behind. When I come to work I can take the parkway and come straight to work...so it's really going to help me out."
And for those who usually deal with traffic near West Broad Street and the Lauderdale Drive area, avoiding it comes as a huge relief.
"I think it's great. I think it's a great way for us to get from the Lauderdale area to Downtown Short Pump," said Darrell Boggs. "You can get there very quickly without going around so much."
In an interesting twist, after decades of trying to get this road complete, Phase II was finished 5 months ahead of schedule.