Part of Jeff Davis to get sidewalks, landscaping
Pedestrians along the stretch of Jefferson Davis Highway from Falling Creek south to Dundas Road will be getting some safety upgrades under a project unveiled last week by backers of a plan to revitalize the county’s longtime eastern corridor.
Bermuda District Supervisor Dorothy Jaeckle and Planning Commissioner Dale Patton joined county planning staff members and representatives of the Jefferson Davis Association at a community meeting last week to discuss plans to upgrade the busy highway just south of Falling Creek Wayside.
Sterry McGee, a spokesman for the Jefferson Davis Association, said the proposal is scaled back from the group’s original plan to build a pedestrian connection between the area south of the wayside park and the area to the north across Chippenham Parkway.
With apartment complexes on both sides of Jefferson Davis Highway just south of the creek, and other multifamily housing nearby, there’s a lot of foot traffic going up the highway to the Food Lion grocery store north of Chippenham, but there’s also a lot of fast-moving vehicle traffic on Jeff Davis and the multiple on- and off-ramps around the interchange.
“We tried to do two or three different things, but all these projects seem to be pretty costly,” he said. “This is one we think we can do.”
Brian Copeland, project manager for Chesterfield-based engineering firm Timmons Group, explained the detailed plans, which include adding sidewalks and landscaping on both sides of the highway and moving a median cut-through so it will connect Parkdale Road and Marina Drive.
Copeland said part of the idea is to get pedestrians to use the median to cross Falling Creek and reach a convenience store located in the median on the north side of the creek. Eventually, the plan is to continue the pedestrian route up the median to a crossing with a traffic light at the entrance to the Food Lion.
Some of the area residents at the meeting remained concerned that people who want to cross Jeff Davis at Parkdale would still be endangered, especially by fast-moving traffic on the southbound side. They suggested adding a pedestrian crossing, but Copeland said Virginia Department of Transportation rules wouldn’t allow that.
One resident suggested putting in some kind of barrier to prevent pedestrians from crossing