Drivers peeved about a sloppy patch job in Richmond

Local News

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A sloppy patch job, that’s how drivers on the City’s east end are describing some recent construction and road work along Williamsburg Road.

“I will actually sit on my front porch and watch cars go, bah bump, and I’m just like oh that sucks, neighbor Paul Kelley said.

Kelley and others like Marvin Martin who commute daily on the road told 8News the City of Richmond tore up the street to put in some new pipe. 

Richmond said the work is to enhance utility service and water capacity in the area. Drivers complain crews sealed the roadway back up with a bad patch job.

“A big bump, a big lump, it’s unprofessional and they just left it there. Seems like they just didn’t care, explained Martin. 

Up and down the road you can see drivers swerving to avoid uneven pavement, broken up gravel, holes in the road and even a big mound of asphalt.

“That is supposedly fixed. They spent 20 minutes fixing that hole you see right there this morning, said Kelley pointing to the big bump in the road. 

Martin told 8News his car was knocked out alignment traveling Williamsburg Road and family members have had damage too.

Kerri O'Brien reports for 8News.

“My daughter-in-law, she burst her tire and she had to get that fixed, he said. 

However, that’s not the only issue. 

It appears work crews just dumped their supplies on Salem Street.

“This been like this for several weeks, said Martin pointing to the mess. 

He and neighbors are frustrated.

“I have called at least 8 maybe 9 times the Department of Works and complained. Each in time they said, I am sending someone, I am sending someone out. No one has come out, said Martin.

A spokesperson with Richmond’s Department of Public Utilities said the City plans to eventually repave Williamsburg Road, however, 8News was told in an email by the Angela Fountain, spokesperson for the department:

“It would be cost prohibitive for DPU to have DPW to pave while there is ongoing utility work.  When all of the utility work is completed the area will be paved.”

8News has learned it could be September of 2019 before all the utility work is complete. 

Until then 8News has been told DPU will take a look at the trouble spots residents showed us and find a temporary fix. Fountain told 8News:

“In the meantime, DPU is looking at the areas that have uneven pavement and trenches to see what can be done temporarily to make for a smoother drive for the resident and commuters in that area.”

When we asked why no one had gotten back to Martin with his complaints, Fountain replied, “We certainly could have done a better job communicating the positive aspects of these projects and how they are a benefit to the Richmond residents in this area.  I will work diligently to ensure that we do a better job of informing our residents and commuters in the future.”

As for the work underway on Williamsburg Road, here is what DPU told 8News:

“The Department of Public Utilities has three different utility projects taking place along various parts of this route.  The first part of our work – natural gas main renewal work has been completed.  This work started the latter part of 2016 and lasted for approximately a year

Following the natural gas main renewal project, in August 2017, DPU’s Stormwater utility began a Capital Improvement Project to separate the Combined Sewer into sanitary and Stormwater piping to address and reduce sewer overflows in that area. 

This part of the project is taking place along Williamsburg Road from Hatcher Street to Montgomery Street. This project is scheduled to be completed by August 2018. 

DPU’s Water Distribution section has been working in tandem with the Stormwater utility in phases to provide increased water capacity to residents and address high incidences of water main failures that were occurring on the main feed on the south.

Once the water main has been renewed, all of the houses in that area will have to be disconnected from the existing service and connected to the new water main that has been installed.  We anticipate that this work will likely continue through the Spring of next year.”

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