CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Incidents of vandalism at a construction site in Chesterfield have cost the county an estimated $50,000, delaying a key flood-prevention project.
The project on Otterdale Road has been in the works for years, and is expected to cost an estimated $26 million before it’s complete. It’s supposed to help alleviate drainage issues between Woolridge and Genito roads.
According to the county’s website, preliminary engineering is also underway to address the Horsepen Creek, Blackman Creek and Otterdale Branch crossings.
In May 2021, Kevin Carroll, who is the Matoaca District Supervisor on the county’s Board of Supervisors spoke about the project during a citizen information meeting.
“This is an important project. It’s been a long time coming,” Carroll said. “When it’s done, we will have tremendous road improvements to this area of the county. Not only will that solve the flooding issue, but it will also provide a very safe road to travel upon.”
According to Carroll, residents were asking for these improvements far before 2021.
“I think that the flood on August 17th that stranded many of our citizens out in that community, put an exclamation point on the urgency that the county faced and what type of a public safety issue this actually is,” Carroll said.
However, there has recently been a setback. Crews have reported several incidents of vandalism over the weekend.
Chesterfield Police responded to a construction site near Otterdale and Woolridge roads on Friday. Police officers were told glass had been broken on two pieces of equipment. According to police, this happened sometime between 6 p.m. on Thursday, Mar. 23, and 6 a.m. on Friday, Mar. 24.
On Saturday, Mar. 25, police were notified again that more vandalism had occurred Friday night. Windows were damaged on four more pieces of equipment.
Police received a third report of vandalism on Monday, Mar. 27. According to police, the complainant reported that trucks and construction equipment had been damaged and tagged with spray paint.
Nate Mathis, the Senior Engineer for the county’s Transportation Department, told 8news the construction company estimated the damages at around $50,000.
Mathis said at least one day of construction has been lost due to the incidents. However, if the vandalism continues, it could cause further delays.
Construction on the project began in March 2022 and the construction of all three crossings is anticipated to be complete in May 2024.
Chesterfield Police are investigating these incidents.
Anyone with information about these vandalisms is asked to call Chesterfield Police at 804-748-0660 or Crime Solvers at 703-748-0660.