Safety concerns on Huguenot Bridge

Posted at 11:51 PM, Aug 20, 2012

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)--The only source of light on the Huguenot Bridge at night comes from passing cars.

“There needs to be light on the bridge or you're not going to be able to see the bikers,“ said Robert Gomes.

Gomes told CBS 6 that when the sun starts to set, he thinks twice about crossing the bridge.

He said it’s not only a danger zone because of the construction, but also because of the lack of lighting for walkers and bike riders. 

“We're susceptible to getting hit,” said Gomes.  People come close to bike riders intentionally, let alone, accidentally.”

Gomes said he hoped the accident that left Lanie Kruszewski dead would have shed light on this project, and show why such illumination is important for bikers. 

Kruszewski was killed by a hit-and-run driver while biking home along River Road at night.  As a result, Gomes wants VDOT to take action soon. “There could be an accident,” Gomes said.

“If we were to put lighting on the bridge it would be a distraction,” said Dawn Eischen with VDOT. 

A distraction for people who live near the bridge, Eischen said. The old bridge didn't have lights “and people felt it should stay that way,” she said.

According to Eischen, how long it stays that way will be at least a couple of years. Despite recently raised concerns because of other bike accidents, she said a lighting addition on this bridge would take a lot of re-working, and hundreds of thousands of dollars.

VDOT crews are wiring the bridge for lighting purposes if residents have a change of heart in the future.