Plan to fix Richmond sidewalks welcomed by locals concerned with ‘dangerous’ hazards

Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Crews are ramping up work to fix dangerous sidewalks in Richmond after millions were put aside for repairs. The City of Richmond says thousands of sidewalks a year are repaired but there is one spot they intend to tackle: Church Hill. 

People from the area who walk around in the area told 8News on Monday that improvements need to begin. 

“Majority of them have a lot of bumps,” said Jessica Leary, a professional dog walker. “A lot of dangerous conditions.” 

For Leary, navigating the sidewalks in Church Hill can be an adventure. She told 8News she tries to avoid Clay and 24th.

“I have tripped so many times walking dogs trying to avoid things,” she explained, “just getting caught up on the sidewalk.”Walking in the area is more like an obstacle course, with bricks sticking up out of the ground. Leary said she hopes the bricks can be preserved while smoothing out the rough sidewalk. 

“I’d say it’s really important just for the safety of our community if anyone is using a wheelchair or a stroller,” Leary told 8News. “It gets really dangerous.” 

A week ago, the Richmond City Council approved $16 million dedicated to fixing potholes and crumbling sidewalks. The goal is for the city to repair 2,000 sidewalks in the next year.

Crews with the Department of Public Works repaired a sidewalk in the Museum District after a tree recently fell. 

“Shaving down tripping hazards,” the Dept. of Public Works Director Bobby Vincent told 8News. “Anywhere that we can actually shave down a sidewalk to make it easier for a wheelchair to eliminate a tripping hazard for people that are walking or jogging or walking down the street.” 

Vincent said the Church Hill area will rank high on the priority list when it comes to sidewalk repair. Locals told 8News they encourage improvements but would like the historic bricks in the area to remain intact. 

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