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Residents concerned over potentially ‘deadly’ grass near Richmond intersection

Posted at 6:40 PM, May 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-31 18:40:03-04

RICHMOND, Va - The city of Richmond has seen its share of tall grass lately, but a viewer contacted CBS 6 concerned about a patch of grass causing a potentially deadly situation on a local road.

Our crews found chest-high grass at on/off ramp where Chippenham Parkway intersects Jahnke Road.  Drivers were literally peeking over the grass to view oncoming traffic as they exited Chippenham and merged onto Jahnke.

"You couldn't see because it was five feet tall," said Elizabeth Phillips, who takes Jahnke Rd. to go to her doctor three to four days each week.  "You had to guess if there were cars coming or not."

Other residents said they had witnessed near collisions over the past few weeks because of the obstructed view.

Phillips said she had seen recent reports that the city of Richmond would not be cutting grass in certain public places because of budget cuts, and she was concerned the on-off ramp was one of the areas impacted.  The ramp is within city limits; however, the city of Richmond is not responsible for cutting it.

A spokesperson for VDOT said their highway maintenance team cuts the grass near on-off ramps.

The Chippenham-Jahnke area was on their cutting schedule, but Tuesday they immediately stepped in to cut the grass because of the potential safety concerns.  An employee with a weed eater was on site less than an hour after CBS 6 made an initial call about the issue.

VDOT said if  you see grassy areas that obstruct your view in state maintained areas, you can directly report them at http://www.virginiadot.org or by calling 1-800-FOR-ROADS.

Phillips said she is thankful the grass was cut.

"It's a good thing; now I don't have to worry about dying," said Phillips with a chuckle.