The traffic on Forest Hill near Stratford Hills has been a big pile of no fun lately. It’s not getting better anytime soon. Please remember to be patient and let folks in when their lane goes away. We’re all in this together.
We’ve been getting a ton of inquiries about the construction work on Forest Hill Avenue between Powhite Parkway and Hathaway Road. Here’s an overview: Right now most of the work happening on Forest Hill Avenue is related to replacing the gas main. The city’s Department of Public Utilities (DPU) is completing this work in accordance with a federal mandate. Work has been slowed recently near the intersection of Hathaway Rd as engineers negotiate the gas line around existing water lines. This has created delays both for the project and for traffic. DPU expects to be fully cleared from the Hathway intersection by the end of June. But the traffic delays will continue as the same work will continue down Forest Hill Ave all the way to the county line (just past Huguenot High School).
After the gas line is replace, other utility work will take place between Powhite and Hathaway to prepare for the Forest Hill Avenue Improvement Project. After all utility work is finished, major construction will begin on this corridor and will last for 18-24 months. We anticipate this major work will start this fall, but we will get a better timeframe in August. The major work is a road overhaul that will add sidewalks, curbs, a median with left turn lanes, and a new stoplight along with lighting and landscaping improvements. It’s going to be a pain for a while, so drive slow, be patience and find alternate routes if possible.
We will share more details as we get them. More information on the Improvement Project can be accessed at: http://www.richmondgov.com/PublicWorks/ForestHillImprovementProject.aspx
Alternate Routes & the “Zipper Merge”
Forest Hill Ave traffic is bad and will continue to move slowly for the next several months. To avoid the frustration and being part of the problem please consider using alternate routes around the affected area when possible. Some combination of Powhite Parkway, Chippenham Parkway and Jahnke Road may help you avoid the construction zone. Many people live along the affected corridor and have no choice, but if you can drive around, please do.
If you must drive along the area please help reduce “stacking” by using all available pavement on the roadway. Consider driving in the left lane as far as you can and employing an alternate merge or “zipper merge” at the construction site to allow for those exiting Powhite Pkwy at Forest Hill Ave to easily enter the roadway as well as those wishing to turn right out of the adjacent neighborhood.
Most of all, please be patient and courteous as we all get through this together.