December 13, 2013
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has come up with a new plan for the proposed Western Bypass.
The proposed bypass is supposed to take traffic away from the route 29 corridor, but years later an environmental process showed that it would be going through property of the Sammons family with a historic African American cemetery.
Those plans changed and a new bypass was created to make space around the cemetery. But the new plan will potentially go through six homes off of Lambs Rd and Ivy Ridge Rd.
One man who has lived off of Ivy Ridge for 30 years says this new plan will cut through his backyard and he's not even sure if it's necessary.
“This is a lousy compromise and it was wrong at the outset and I think that because we stuck with it so long that people find it very impossible to come out from,” says Robert Cooper. “It's not too late we really ought to cease doing what we're doing on this and investigate how to put a true bypass around here.”
VDOT spokesperson Lou Hatter says quote "We are too early in the process to be talking about specific impacts to specific locations…we have to wait until the environmental process is completed before we can move forward on the final design work for the bypass."
Patrick Jordan's home would be demolished if VDOT goes through with the new plans, but he says he rather move than have the property value drop with a bypass in his backyard.
“We'd be one of the lucky ones if they have to buy the home now, “says Jordan. “They would have to take my home instead of completely diminishing the value of my home and leaving my family to clean up the mess.”
Jordan is more concerned with what VDOT will do about the cemetery next to his house.
“The archaeological firm that was working with VDOT was out here and discovered what seems to be a four plot cemetery on our property,” says Jordan. “I was surprised to see it.”
Neighbors are still concerned about the new plan, but say all they can do is hope for the best.