RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — If you want to avoid a traffic headache, here’s a reminder that there will be more than a dozen road closures popping up in Richmond’s Sauer’s Gardens neighborhood from Thursday, Oct. 19 to Wednesday, Nov. 1.
The re-paving in the Sauer’s Gardens area can be seen as indicative of a bigger boom happening in the historic neighborhood. Heads turned to the area this past summer when developers released a masterplan for the 37-acre Sauer Center project.
“Development is a good thing, by and large,” said Richmond resident Paul Gilding.
However, it’s also causing some frustration, as residents like Gilding learned about some literal roadblocks ahead.
“Signs appeared all of a sudden,” Gilding reflected.
The “No Parking” alerts he referred to went up seemingly out of nowhere. Now, according to Richmond’s Department of Public Works, about 14 additional roads across the neighborhood will soon be cut off, in phases, for re-paving. The construction has already prompted some trouble for residents, who said that they didn’t have much time to prepare for the change.
“I don’t have off-street parking,” Gilding explained. “I’ve got two cars, like most people in this area, and they are closing the street for 14 days.”
Residents were surprised certain streets were chosen for re-paving. They said the roads had been re-paved fairly recently and some roads, in their opinions, didn’t mandate another round. Some neighbors also expressed skepticism over the timeline.
“They don’t need 14 days to mill and pave the street,” Gilding said.
Closures include multiple smaller roads that connect to busier ones, like Sauer Avenue from Monument Avenue to Broad Street and Fitzhugh Avenue from Kent Road to Westmoreland Street. Here’s a complete list of the closures to come:
- Fitzhugh Avenue from Kent Road to Westmoreland Street
- Augusta Avenue from Antrim Avenue to Westmoreland Street
- Cutshaw Avenue from Antrim Avenue to Westmoreland Street
- West Grace Street from Antrim Avenue to Westmoreland Street
- Cutshaw Avenue from North Hamilton Street to West Malven Avenue
- Augusta Avenue from North Hamilton Street to West Malven Avenue
- West Grace Street from North Hamilton Street to West Malven Avenue
- North Hamilton from Monument Avenue to Broad Street
- Kent Road from Monument Avenue to Broad Street
- Lafayette Street from Monument Avenue to Broad Street
- Antrim Avenue from Monument Avenue to Broad Street
- Sauer Avenue from Monument Avenue to Broad Street
- Shenandoah Street from Monument Avenue to Broad Street
- Commonwealth Avenue from Monument Avenue to Broad Street
Overall, neighbors told 8News that they were most frustrated about the lack of time given prior to the closures, as well as the confusion regarding why certain roads were selected to be re-paved and how long the process is truly expected to take.
“I think the most difficult part has been the lack of transparency on the part of the city and more fully informing us about what was going on [and] what was behind the decision to close the street for two whole weeks,” Gilding explained.
Some neighbors told 8News that the re-paving is another example of the growing attention to the neighborhood and expansion efforts. Others reiterated that the closures came too abruptly.
“Hopefully they’ll be able to pave this part of Grove [Avenue] and then open it up, rather than continuing to forbid parking,” Gilding said.
Construction on the next wave of roads begins Thursday, Oct. 19. Those who commute through the Sauer’s Gardens neighborhood should make sure to double check their routes and plan accordingly.