Route 5 corridor public meeting - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Route 5 corridor public meeting

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) -

Traffic along the route connecting Varina and Richmond is projected to double in the next 25 years, but several residents don't like the way leaders are planning to deal with it.  

We're talking about a 7-mile stretch of the Route 5 corridor from 7th Street to 895. The project has two possible paths and at a meeting Monday night- residents didn't seem to favor either. 

It's a road that connects quiet homes with the hustle and bustle of the city. And with several planned developments it's a road experts say will continue to see more traffic.  

Officials have proposed two plans to combat the problem-- expanding Route 5, or adding lanes to new Osborne Turnpike.  

Residents in Varina say they moved to the area for the quiet, and the picturesque lifestyle. They say a four lane road, would ruin that.

"It takes a historic, two-lane scenic byway that is one of the oldest roads in the nation and makes it a divided four lane highway," said resident Nicole Anderson Ellis. 

"Really don't feel like it's necessary. If you have a problem with the traffic and the flow, I think you need to just leave a little bit early for work," Ryan Rowe stated. 

With question after question- residents expressed their concern that a bigger road could mean a change in lifestyle. 

"We're set to lose the beauty that makes Varina such an amazing tourism draw and all of that in addition to worse traffic and a 70 million dollar price tag," said Ellis. 

"Everybody just wants to expand, expand, expand and I feel like we just need to keep it the way it is," Rowe added. 

But others say- the change is inevitable- it's just a matter of controlling the outcome.   

"I can't stop progress. If we need progress to make things better, then we have to sacrifice some things. We can't stay back like we were in ‘42. I mean it's growing. More people. More automobiles," Carlton said. 

There is a website that tracks all of the new research developments on the Route 5 corridor. It also explains the possible concepts.

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