Benn's Church Boulevard in Smithfield is worse than the JRB
By Diana McFarland
Commuters easily point to the James River Bridge as a major choke-point in Isle of Wight County, but in the last year or so, the amount of weekday traffic traveling along Benn’s Church Boulevard around Farm Fresh in Smithfield has exceeded the number of vehicles on the JRB.
Last year, the average number of vehicles crossing the JRB during the week was 30,000, but the portion of Benn’s Church Boulevard between South Church Street and Canteberry Lane was tallied at 31,000, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.
Those numbers represent the annual average weekday traffic, which is the number of vehicles estimated to have traveled the segment of road during a 24-hour weekday over the year, according to VDOT.
Utility work will disrupt traffic
By Ryan Kushner
Smithfield is moving ahead with plans to dig up and replace its 100-year-old waterline on Main Street this January, a project that will involve shutting down thru traffic and likely cause a disruption of the bustling commercial street.
Construction is scheduled to begin soon after Jan. 1 and will involve the replacement of the main line, as well as upgrades of service lateral lines that connect the main line with buildings on the 100 and 200 blocks of Main Street in downtown Smithfield.
Stacy Lewis of Lewis Construction of Virginia, which will be conducting the line replacement, said at a Water and Sewer Committee Meeting Monday that if all goes as planned, the main line could be replaced in a month, with lateral lines taking an additional two weeks to complete. However, Rick Bodson, the volunteer manager of a business group known as Smithfield 2020, told the committee he thinks the work will take at least 60 days, provided all goes smoothly and there is no severe weather during the construction period.
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SURRY — With a little help and much fanfare, patient 16-2217 took flight last week from Chippokes Plantation State Park in Surry County.
The bald eagle was recently rehabilitated by the Wildlife Center of Virginia after it and another adult eagle were found on the ground in Portsmouth with their talons locked together. The birds were likely enmeshed in a territorial dispute, according to Randy Hula with the Wildlife Center.
One eagle flew off, while the eagle, that became patient 16-2217, was captured. The eagle was first taken to Nature’s Nanny Wildlife Rehabilitation and once stabilized, was transferred to the Wildlife Center in Waynesboro.
By Diana McFarland
For at least three years, what town officials say is raw sewage has been intermittently running across the sidewalk along North Church Street, into the street and draining into the Pagan River.
The alleged sewage is coming from a private residence, 406 N. Church Street, and so far, neither local nor state health officials have been able to force the property owner to stop the discharge.
Smithfield Mayor Carter Williams noticed the discharge three years ago. When he smelled it, the odor was unmistakable.
“It’s sewage, raw pure sewage,” said Williams, who said he’s been trying to get it stopped for the past three years and is now simply frustrated by the lack of progress.
On Monday, drainage could be seen coming from the property and running down North Church Street toward the Pagan River.
The alleged sewage discharge goes into the storm drain right above Clontz Park where people routinely fish and crab.