Broad Street paving project is hampering business, causing confusion for drivers

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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) – Congestion has slowly developed along West Broad Street in the city of Richmond as a major repaving project continues for the sixth week.

The new asphalt is broken down in some areas, but the lack of lane markings confuses many drivers. Currently, the project is in the first phase of preparing and measuring paint in the westbound lanes from 3rd Street to the I-195 Bridge.

With graduations at the Siegel Center next week, many are wondering if this will be an even bigger problem.

NBC12 has contacted City of Richmond Public Works, but has not heard of a timeline. Road crews told NBC12 off-camera that it was a tedious process with no deadlines at this time.

In the meantime, many businesses along Broad Street are suffering

“I feel like there should have been a better strategic plan for business owners here,” said Dee Deans, owner of the RVA Corner Store. “It actually caused our business to drop about 5%.”

“As you can see, I’m the only one here, so nobody really shows up,” said fellow business owner, Harold Brown of VIP Cuts.

They say less parking and more detours mean fewer customers are going to stores.

“Imagine how customers feel because you can’t turn, you can’t go around, you can’t turn around, you have to go all the way down Broad. It’s just a downside,” Deans said.

Companies are also having a harder time getting products into their stores.

“A few weeks ago they were doing construction, and none of our vendors were able to come through, so we had to rearrange products, and that’s really affecting it in a negative way,” Deans added.

“It’s been like this for almost three weeks now, so business has definitely slowed down for everyone,” Brown said.

Brown says the missing lane markers only add to the confusion.

“It can also become dangerous. I saw cars going in and out all day. They couldn’t see the tracks,” he said. “A lot of people, even still, people don’t know where the bus line is – everything is confusing, people are honking their horns and it’s creating traffic jams.”

Brown wonders why the project is happening in the first place.

“I don’t think he needed it because they had just done it maybe four years ago,” he said. “The sidewalk wasn’t so bad.”

This work also affected bus stops and GRTC routes. In a statement, he said the paving project appears to be ahead of schedule. The work was originally scheduled to end on June 21.

Visit the GRTC website for an overview of the project phases.

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