VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The feeder lanes on Laskin Road in Virginia Beach will soon be a thing of the past. Construction started last month on a project to widen the road and replace a bridge
The Virginia Department of Transportation said the Laskin Road Improvements Project will include the construction of an eight-lane divided highway on Laskin Road.
Some residents tell 10 on Your Side the feeder lanes will not be missed.
“I’m very happy that they will be gone,” said Virginia Beach resident Margaret Gordon. “It’s really scary, even for a seasoned driver. I’m new to the area, so that adds to the confusion.”
Others feel the opposite way.
“I think the feeder lanes are fantastic. I love the feeder lanes,” said resident Ellie Steffens. “I’ve been here a long time and I think it takes a little bit of practice to get the dance.”
A bridge on Laskin that goes over Linkhorn Bay in the Hilltop section of the city will be replaced as part of the project. The bridge will be widened to five travel lanes, with a sidewalk on each side, according to VDOT.
The bridge will be built to accommodate future expansion to six lanes.
Allan Myers VA Inc. was awarded $83.2 million in May 2019. The project is expected to be complete by 2023, according to VDOT.
“Drivers find them difficult to navigate. They are what we call conflict points, which is where there are movement in and out of traffic in the main lanes, so we want to remove some of those conflict points and make it smoother for people to travel,” said VDOT Senior Communications Specialist Nina Napolitano.
Napolitano says the project also includes full improvements to the Laskin- First Colonial Road intersection, and a 6-lane divided highway on First Colonial Road from Laurel Lane to I-264.
Aaron Holly, who owns Wasserhund Brewery right off Laskin Road, is hoping the years of construction traffic will pay off.
“For people who aren’t a Whole Foods or a big, major business, it’s hard to get to and it’s hard to find, and you have to navigate the feeder lanes so I think it will hopefully impact the smaller businesses in a positive way,” explained Holly.
Napolitano says they are working with business owners like Holly to make sure the customer impact during the project is minimal.
“The construction team here has been working really closely with the individual businesses, talking to them about their needs and addressing those as we move forward,” Napolitano said.
It’s important to note this project will include utility and storm drainage upgrades as well.
“We’re making major storm water improvements, we’re adding a retention pond and we’re also doing some utility improvements people will benefit from years into the future,” Napolitano said.
Construction crews are expected to begin working in the eastern limits of the project, near Red Robin Road. Crews will have traffic control signs in the work zone.
VDOT says it will inform of potential impacts from the project, including lane shifts and an expected speed limit reduction from 45 mph to 35 mph in the work zone.
Napolitano says they are encouraging people to subscribe to a newsletter that provides the latest updates on the project through their website.