Residents who live off South River Road east may finally get some relief from constant flooding each time it rains. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) began work on the river this week after months of waiting for the proper permits from the state.
VDOT Resident Engineer Joel DeNunzio told supervisors Aug. 27 once it had the permits approved crews were moved off the Rosebrook Road paving project to get in the river and get to work.
“We’re lowering the streambed three feet,” DeNunzio said.
Crews are removing rock and other debris and widening the channel, as well.
“I think it’s a pretty tremendous improvement and hopefully will reduce the frequency of flooding on this road,” he said.
South River Road is built in a floodplain and each time it rains it traps residents, preventing them from work, school and doctor appointments, until the waters recede.
This isn’t the first attempt to improve that area of South River. VDOT removed large trees and debris from portions of that section of the river earlier this summer.
DeNunzio added VDOT learned of the approval on Aug. 13 but that this work needed to be complete during lowflow of the river with an end date of Aug. 31.
“So, that’s why we put off Rosebrook Road that we were scheduled to be on because this is pretty important and we’ll still get right back to it.”
The western side of South River Road also has issues with flooding and DeNunzio said earlier this year he hopes to use funds to study the entire riverbed to see what needs to be done to improve it so it doesn’t happen as often. There is no time-frame for that at this time, however. Residents on the western side have more than one way to get off their road in flooding, most of the time. The May 31, 2018, flooding trapped residents on Entry Way after a bridge over South River was damaged.