Road

Richmond Times-Dispatch - - RTD WEATHER - Mthomp­son@times­dis­patch.com (804) 649-6254

9450 Atlee Sta­tion Road.

More than $7 mil­lion of the $11 mil­lion project will be funded through its rank­ing in the state’s Smart Scale pro­gram, said Chick­a­hominy District Su­per­vi­sor An­gela Kel­lyWiecek, whose district abuts the project area.

The county has $1 mil­lion in gen­eral fund money al­lo­cated for the Slid­ing Hill Road widen­ing, said Mike Flagg, Hanover’s di­rec­tor of public works. An ad­di­tional $500,000 is com­ing from prof­fer money col­lected from de­vel­op­ments in the area over the years. The re­main­der is be­ing paid through other state and fed­eral funds.

“The project will meet our goals and sig­nif­i­cantly im­prove traf­fic flow in the area,” Kelly-Wiecek said.

Of­fi­cials ex­pect widen­ing the road to in­crease traf­fic ca­pac­ity and im­prove traf­fic op­er­a­tions and safety. Once com­plete, Slid­ing Hill Road will be at least four lanes from U.S. 1 to New Ash­cake Road.

The prospect of added lanes gets de­cent marks from Ann An­drade, who owns Prim­rose School of Atlee Com­mons on the north side of the in­ter­sec­tion of Slid­ing Hill Road and Atlee Com­mons Drive. An­drade has run the child devel­op­ment cen­ter along with her hus­band, Luis, since 2008.

An­drade said she sup­ports the project but is con­cerned about how the 150 fam­i­lies who have chil­dren at the school will han­dle turn­ing left onto Slid­ing Hill Road with­out a traf­fic sig­nal.

“There’s a ton of traf­fic,” An­drade said of the time when kids get picked up. “We have some peo­ple be­ing a lit­tle more ag­gres­sive. They get frus­trated and zip out.”

Ash­land District Su­per­vi­sor Faye Prichard, who rep­re­sents the area where the widen­ing project is planned, said with projects An­drade like these, you can’t please all the stake­hold­ers, but she is proud of the way county staff and res­i­dents have in­ter­acted on the project.

“You can’t widen a road and not take some­thing away from some­body — there’s no way around that,” Prichard said, adding the project is needed be­cause the area around Slid­ing Hill Road has grown. “When that road was built, a lot of the sub­di­vi­sions didn’t ex­ist. The traf­fic to­day doesn’t re­sem­ble any­thing like when those roads were built. The back-up has be­come pretty in­sane, es­pe­cially in the morn­ing.”

Con­stance Thomp­son has lived on 2 acres off the corner of Slid­ing Hill Road and King Brax­ton Court for about 20 years. She said pre­vi­ous im­prove­ments made to Slid­ing Hill Road have chipped away at her prop­erty, and she is wor­ried widen­ing the road will have a sim­i­lar im­pact.

“You know they’re not tak­ing it off the air­port side,” Thomp­son, who is re­tired, said.

Slid­ing Hill Road be­tween Atlee Sta­tion and New Ash­cake roads gen­er­ally is a two-lane road. Homes mostly lie to its east, and to the west is the Hanover Air Park, a light in­dus­trial area, and also the Hanover County Mu­nic­i­pal Air­port. The corner of Slid­ing Hill and Atlee Sta­tion roads has a mix of re­tail­ers in­clud­ing a Wal­mart Neigh­bor­hood Mar­ket, Food Lion, Fas Mart and a slew of eater­ies.

Eric Her­ring said ever since a traf­fic sig­nal was in­stalled at Slid­ing Hill and Air Park roads, traf­fic has wors­ened. Her­ring — who leases 20 acres off Slid­ing Hill for his home and busi­ness, Her­ring’s Roof­ing and Paint­ing — said it would help if trac­tor­trail­ers head­ing for the in­dus­trial area were re­quired to turn off Slid­ing Hill at Lead­bet­ter Road, near the Sheetz, in­stead of Air Park Road.

The cur­rent amount of traf­fic and num­ber of im­pa­tient driv­ers have made Slid­ing Hill Road more dan­ger­ous than it once was, Her­ring said as he cleared his drive­way. He said he wor­ries about the chil­dren who have bus stops on Slid­ing Hill.

“At this point it’s a waste,” Her­ring said of the widen­ing project. “Our big con­cern is safety.”

Res­i­dents will have the chance to re­view the project, ques­tion county rep­re­sen­ta­tives and of­fer in­put at next week’s meet­ing. Lately, Hanover res­i­dents have proved more than will­ing to weigh in on devel­op­ment.

Web Stokes on Jan. 5 pub­lished a pe­ti­tion call­ing for a halt on the con­struc­tion of res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ments in Hanover on the web­site Change.org. As of Thurs­day even­ing, the pe­ti­tion had at­tracted 262 sup­port­ers. Part of the pe­ti­tion’s crit­i­cism is that Hanover’s roads won’t be able to han­dle the traf­fic ex­pected to re­sult from pro­posed sub­di­vi­sions in the Atlee Sta­tion Road area.

Stokes, a re­cent Board of Su­per­vi­sors can­di­date, also was be­hind a 2014 pe­ti­tion protest­ing the Wal­mart on Slid­ing Hill Road.

In an in­ter­view, Stokes said he thought it was good that Slid­ing Hill Road will be widened, but the road is too far from the Atlee Sta­tion area to have much of an im­pact on that cor­ri­dor’s traf­fic woes.

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