Can Henrico solve Short Pump’s traffic problems?
The county hopes to remedy some safety and congestion concerns in the area.
The Federal Highway Administration approved Henrico County’s plan to address safety and traffic congestion in the Short Pump area, Now, the county begins the necessary design and environment studies to continue the project.
Henrico could spend between $200 million and $300 million to transform multiple traffic interchanges along Interstate 64 in Western Henrico, including a new diamond-shaped junction at North Gayton Road and modifications at West Broad Street.
Those on- and exit-ramp areas alone see an average of 5,000 to 6,000 road users each day, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation’s most recent traffic data. The interstate has around 66,000 to 90,000 users daily.
During a June press conference, Three Chopt Supervisor Tommy Branin described these changes as “life saving.”
“If you've ever driven in Western Henrico, you know there's a little too many crashes and too much traffic,” Branin said. “These problems have challenged us in Henrico for over 20 years.”
Branin said the new traffic patterns will address long-standing concerns from residents and business owners in the area about routine congestion and accidents.
In fact, Lt. Col. Michael Palkovics of the Henrico Police Division told VPM News that the county has recorded seven deaths and more than 1,000 crashes in both areas over the past five years.
“This will improve efficiency, it will improve congestion — but most importantly, it's going to improve safety for everybody,” Palkovics said. “And we look forward to seeing the results … lower numbers, fewer calls for service and better safe driving.”
According to Branin, this undertaking would not be possible without the help of county administrators and state legislators who pushed the project along.
Public Works Director Terrell Hughes told VPM News it's been a team effort just to get to this preliminary stage.
“I've been involved in a number of projects, and I've never seen one really come together just like this one did,” Hughes said.
Before construction can start, Hughes and Henrico administrators will need to complete the design phase, environmental studies and develop a funding strategy.
Hughes said the county expects to spend the next two to three years refining its plans, acquiring the additional land needed for construction and securing funding for the project.
The next phase of studies will be funded by around $5 million from the Central Virginia Transportation Authority for advanced environmental assessments and design work.
From there, the county will engage area residents and develop a funding strategy. Hughes said he’s hoping Henrico’s continued work with its state representatives will help it compete for said funds.
Construction may begin as soon as 2026.