Residents see movement in renaming road after truck traffic concerns

Neighbors also dealing with noise issues from distribution center

Residents see movement in renaming road after truck traffic concerns

SANDSTON, VA (WWBT) - Homeowners on White Oak Road in Sandston could soon feel relief from the number of tractor-trailers driving down their narrow, winding road.

Tuesday night, the Henrico County Board of Supervisors announced they were in contact with the Bank of America facility located on White Oak Creek Drive about renaming the road.

“We have already started the process to change the name of the road," said Varina Supervisor Tyrone Nelson.

The Bank of America facility has a physical address on White Oak Creek Drive. According to the County Planning Department the request to change the name has to come from the property owner on the road. From there it will go through a series of steps before it can get approved.

Criteria for renaming streets in Henrico County (Source: Henrico Co. Planning Department)
Criteria for renaming streets in Henrico County (Source: Henrico Co. Planning Department) (Source: Henrico County)

“We heard from the community about their concerns with this road name,” said a Bank of America spokesman. “We decided to work with the county, being a good neighbor to residents, in order to get the ball rolling.”

"I'm very happy that it's finally taking place,” said Stewart Goodwin, who lives on White Oak Road. “It could have taken place four years ago, but I'm happy with what we've got."

Goodwin created a petition advocating for the name change, presenting that petition Tuesday night at the Board of Supervisors meeting.

Since 2015, Goodwin said tractor-trailers have been a constant issue for homeowners along the road.

In the past, GPS apps have told truck drivers to take White Oak Road in order to get to the Lumber Liquidators distribution center located near White Oak Creek Drive. The problem is White Oak Road can’t support the weight and size of these 18-wheelers, which is why in 2015 Henrico County put up signs telling drivers to ignore their GPS.

Map of Sandston area showing location of White Oak Road and White Oak Creek Drive (Source: NBC12)
Map of Sandston area showing location of White Oak Road and White Oak Creek Drive (Source: NBC12) (Source: NBC12)

“I’m just happy that the name is going to be changed, and hopefully we’ve gotten the county’s attention and that they will address the truck problems that continue on other roads in Varina,” Goodwin said.

“At the end of the day, we want to decrease truck traffic in the White Oak Tech park,” Nelson said. “We want to decrease the impact of truck traffic as it relates to the community."

While it may be a win for residents in moving forward with getting the name of the road changed, homeowners along Elko Road near the Lumber Liquidators distribution center have not only been dealing with truck traffic, but also noise.

"It's just sad,” said Sid Barker, who lives across from the distribution center. “It's like having a bully in the classroom."

Barker said noise from trucks backing up to the docks can be heard all day and all night.

When the center was built five years ago, plans show there was supposed to be a vegetative buffer, but Barker said it hasn’t helped the noise or the view.

"You can see right through the pine trees,” Barker said. “I was taking pictures last night of red and green lights... I've seen trees grow faster than that, but they put in the smallest trees they could four years ago."

Barker brought that issue before the Board of Supervisors meeting and learned new details in the process.

"They're (Lumber Liquidators) actually going in and cutting these plantings,” said Henrico County Manager John Vithoulkas. “They will never grow."

“We were supposed to have a wall barrier with vegetation, that was our intent,” said Three Chopt Supervisor Thomas Branin. “We’ve spent $30,000 planting trees to accomplish what they were supposed to accomplish and we’re still not there.”

Branin called on Lumber Liquidators to put up a temporary fence of at least eight feet high with a screen on it to buffer the sound.

“If their ignorance brought us to this point where we don’t have the vegetative growth that they’re responsible for, then they are responsible for quality of life,” Branin added.

In a statement, Lumber Liquidators said it, "... values community partnership and being a good neighbor. That said, we've been made aware of this situation and are looking into the matter further."

"Lumber Liquidators has not been a good neighbor,” Nelson said Tuesday. “I think most of us would agree, that we've had a lot of problems with Lumber Liquidators since they've been there."

The next problem the county plans to fix is erasing the dead-end entrance at White Oak Creek Drive and Elko Road from GPS maps.

“If the road is disconnected then the truck GPS should not lead them up Elko to White Oak Creek Drive and it should put them on Technology Boulevard,” Goodwin said.

Barker added of tractor-trailers parking along Elko Road outside of the distribution center over have raised concerns as well.

“The last one was a woman,” Barker said. “I have pictures of the police officer coming down and he said there was nothing he could do because it was a state-maintained road.”

The County Department of Public Works installed new signs along Elko Road last week telling truck drivers not to park there.

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