VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The Sandbridge Civic League has challenged Virginia Beach City Council with the goal of finding funds for safety improvements to Sandbridge Road.
“Curves have been relaxed and reflectors have been added, but people continue to die because Sandbridge Road is unforgiving. It is narrow and there is no room for error,” said Sandbridge resident Janet Meyer at the City Council meeting Tuesday night.
Theses pleas come after a deadly crash on Sandbridge Road last week; four people died, including three children. Residents say the crash has resurfaced long-standing concerns about the windy, narrow road.
“I would like them to realize we need another entrance and exit in and out of Sandbridge road for our residents and visitors that we have, which are a considerable amount for at least three months a year,” said Sandbridge Civic League President Joan Davis.
Most residents asked council to consider the Nimmo Parkway extension to Sandbridge in the capital improvement plan. Residents say it will help ease traffic and make travel safer.
“It was never designed to carry that many people or to service this large an area of Virginia Beach,” said former Virginia Beach council member Jim Reeve. “Quite honestly, it’s one accident after another that brings to light the need for a better road project,”
The Sandbridge Civic League also brought in a letter from Delegate Barry Knight, who also supports the Nimmo Parkway extension.
“He actually reached out to us, realizing the tragedies that were happening down there and the need for a better solution,”said Reeve. “Now he is as a delegate and has the opportunity to take our cause to the state legislators and try to make it happen.”
Mayor Will Sessoms says the city could consider adding the project to the capital improvement plan.
“We’re certainly going to look at trying to put something into CIP for the Nimmo Parkway extension,” Sessoms said. “Let me be clear, it is going to take years to accomplish this. In other words, we’re not going to be able to do it all at one time.”
Mayor Sessoms said council could look to phase in the Nimmo Parkway extension over time to help, but it could be hard to obtain funding for the project.
“It will be added in. The question is, how much funding will there be for it? And that I don’t know at this time,” the Mayor said.