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New information about the Forest Hill road project frustrating those already over the road work

Posted at 4:50 PM, Jun 17, 2024

RICHMOND, Va. -- Taillights, traffic cones, and No Turn signs line Forest Hill Avenue, between Joe Brooks Boulevard and Hathaway Road, in South Richmond. In the background is the constant sound of construction, as Richmond's Department of Public Utilities makes emergency repairs to a collapsed sewer line.

Through the window of Flowerama, florist Victoria Zachary watches the construction and new traffic patterns confuse drivers

"A lot of horn blowing, a lot of people are impatient and trying to make the turns, honking at each other," Zachary said. "People still making the turns even though the signs are there saying 'No Left Turn.' People are still making the turns and risking it. It's dangerous."

Forest Hill Avenue construction road work

She said her store has seen a decrease in customers since construction started.

"We don't see the volume of traffic going through and that definitely has hurt our walk-in business. It's practically non-existent," Zachary said. "We did notice Mother's Day that sales were down. Six percent. That's a big impact for a small business."

Forest Hill Avenue construction road work

CBS 6 spoke with Betty Markham, who lives nearby, earlier in May.

She worried about emergency services getting snarled in traffic around her predominately senior community. She also noted that nearly every summer, emergency crews drove on her street, Hathaway Road, to get to Pony Pasture when responding to water rescues.

"If one of my neighbors needs an ambulance, how are they going to get here? There's no pull off. It's just very frustrating and scary," Markham said.

Why traffic lights on Forest Hill Avenue are irking drivers: ‘We need help’

In May, DPU told CBS 6 it would adjust traffic signals, traffic barrels, and other signage to make the traffic patterns and road closures less confusing.

Starting this week, DPU will replace another water line farther down Forest Hill Avenue, between Westover Hills Boulevard and 41st Street. Drivers can expect alternating lane closures Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Both projects are set to continue until December, weather permitting.

DPU is hosting a virtual meeting with the public to provide details on the project and updates on construction. The meeting is on Monday, June 17, at 6 p.m. The virtual meeting can be accessed using this linkor by calling 804-316-9457 and entering passcode 822470127.

Are there other road projects impacting your community? Tell the CBS 6 Newsroom.

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