On Your Side: Neighbors around dirt road want it paved

On Your Side: Neighbors around dirt road want it paved

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Colonial Heights residents called the On Your Side Investigators for answers when a paving project that was supposed to start in March got delayed.

It's not a huge project, but it's certainly an important one for the people living on Bruce Avenue who say it's a nightmare living on their dirt road. The never ending dust is the problem these residents want fixed right now. How they say their complaints and concerns have been dismissed is causing them great frustration.

Noreese Barnes who turned to NBC12 for answers had this to say: "When we have a bad rain, it looks like a river out here."

Bruce Avenue, just around the bend from the Boulevard and the new multi-million dollar courthouse on Battery Place, is Colonial Heights' only dirt road. Neighbor Betty Milton also turned to NBC12 and said, "It looks beautiful from the Boulevard. Anybody traveling through, they would see it, think it's a nice road by the way, all the way through. But once you get around the corner ,it's dirt."

People living in all six houses claim to be impacted. When dust goes airborne it floats inside their home, clogs the air conditioning and prevents washing cars and hanging clothes outdoors they say. Barnes is frustrated. "It's terrible. We have cars flying through here. I mean, they literally fly through here just so they can see dust balls they leave behind, and I mean it just bellows," she said.

The road is a cut through to the new courthouse and neighboring businesses. Outside traffic, they say, is tearing up their yard with people avoiding potholes and driving onto their property.

Milton is fed up too, and said, "Pave the road. We only have one little section. Pave the road. If they can afford the millions to pave the Boulevard, why can't they afford a road that's a lot smaller?" Barnes argued, "We pay our taxes here and all we want is just a nice place to live. Golly, give us a break".

The the city promised to start paving in March. It's June and they're tired of waiting.

Barnes added, "It makes us feel like we're low on the totem pole, like we don't count."

Councilman Kenneth Frenier said, "I just ask people to be patient, and I know it's a hard thing to do, but please be patient. It is being addressed." Frenier says the city had to scale back the drainage and paving project for the entire area. It became too expensive. The paving part goes up for bid Friday at 3 p.m.

He assures that road will definitely be paved, but it may be next year. Frenier says he's frustrated too, "The completion date is set at August 1, 2016." He says Colonial Heights spends quite a bit of money maintaining that dirt road by putting down a solution to control the dust and filling in pot holes. He says getting it paved is a priority.

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