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There's a plan to improve traffic in Short Pump. Today it got a big boost.

Short Pump Traffic
Posted at 4:36 PM, Jun 13, 2023

SHORT PUMP, Va. — Henrico County officials announced Tuesday they've cleared a major hurdle in a plan to ease Short Pump traffic and make Henrico roads safer. The Federal Highway Administration, county officials said, granted conditional approval on the county's plans.

"This has been a long time coming. Some of these conversations go back as far as 2012," Henrico Department of Public Works Director Terrell Hughes said.

The plan included two projects.

The first is the creation of a new interstate interchange at Interstate 64 and North Gayton Road.

The second would remove the on-ramp in the southeast corner of the Broad Street interchange.

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County leaders said studies show traffic congestion in Short Pump would only worsen if no action was taken.

"We average over 1,000 accidents every year, between Pouncy Tract and 64 on Broad Street," Three Chopt District supervisor Tommy Branin said.

Short Pump Traffic
Three Chopt District supervisor Tommy Branin

For some drivers, Short Pump traffic is a deciding factor as to whether or not to visit that part of town.

"If I'm going to the mall or Target, I just won't even come out here after, like, noon on the weekends, because it's -- I'm just sitting in traffic," Sanni Carriere said. "Holidays? Forget it. If it's not 10 a.m., I just won't even come over here."

But reactions to the county's proposed plans are mixed.

"I don't really know if that would help very much or not," Rebecca Phillips said. "You're not really opening more, you're just closing one and moving it."

"That would be great," Carriere said. "Yeah, definitely come out here more if that was the case."

The public will have more chances to share their voice on the project as several more steps remain following this federal approval which is conditional on an environmental impact study.

"The biggest piece we'll probably need to work through on the environmental side is the installation of some sound walls or noise walls, with part of the project," Hughes said.

Officials said they'll also work on the design phase while doing this to save time, plus land acquisition and how to fund the overall project.

"We're looking at, in today's dollars, about a $250 million package of improvements," Hughes said.

The next phase is expected to take three years putting the earliest start date of the actual construction in 2026.

"As the soonest before you probably have completed everything done," Hughes said.

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