New exit in the works for Short Pump/I-64 to reduce accidents, increase pedestrian safety
HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - The Short Pump exit from I-64 onto Broad Street has a pattern of causing car accidents and traffic congestion.
People in and around the area are frustrated with how the exits and roads are set up right now.
“I hate going off the Short Pump exit because there’s always traffic, especially on the weekend or Friday nights,” said Seth Bean, a Lousia County resident who drives through the Short Pump area often.
This frustration is why a $250 million interchange project is in the works.
Terrell Hughes, the director of public works with Henrico County, said the plan to focus on the Short Pump area is due to the amount of traffic and severe accidents at the current exit.
“This is one our, it is our most active area from a crash standpoint,” Hughes said. “It really should help with some problems people are experiencing today and help with maybe some of the additional growth that may happen in the future.”
Henrico County did a survey to figure out the best solutions to address safety and traffic issues.
The results show the community wants to combine two proposals. The first is to build a new interchange where I-64 and North Gayton Road meet, remove the merge underneath the I-64 ramps, and add sidewalks and safety features to keep pedestrians and bike riders safe.
“With some of the signals that will come in with the interchange, there will be designated phases where the pedestrians will have a walk signal where they’re protected from moving cars,” Hughes said.
Hughes also says they already have funds for the design and environmental study, and they plan to get more funding through local, regional and hopefully federal funding. Taxpayers won’t have to worry about an additional charge for this project.
“No rise in taxes, but were looking at something that would be [a] public funded project with some of the existing revenues streams today,” said Hughes.
Both VDOT and Henrico County have already approved the plans. The last approval needed is from the Federal Highway Administration.
If this plan is fully approved, the environmental study can begin to make sure they can mitigate ecological concerns.
“Depending on how fast we can move on that, we’re looking at 3, 4, 5 years before we’re ready to hit construction, assuming all the funding will come into place, then we’re looking at a 2-year construction window once its constructed,” Hughes said.
Some land along North Gayton Road has been secured after developers agreed to designate part of their land for the project.
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