Richmond Airport Connector Road Opens
Direct connection links Pocahontas 895 to Richmond International Airport, shortens travel time for many drivers
January 14, 2011
RICHMOND, Virginia (January 14, 2011) - The Richmond Airport Connector Road opened today, offering many southside Richmonders a shorter, more direct route to Richmond International Airport.
The 1.6-mile Airport Connector is an extension of Pocahontas 895 and links directly to Airport Drive at Charles City Road. The new road can save travelers about 10 minutes or more on a trip to the airport - especially those coming from Chesterfield County and the Tri-Cities area.
Customers who use the Airport Connector and pay the toll at the Pocahontas 895 Main Plaza, including those traveling to and from Chesterfield County, do not pay again at the Airport Connector ramps. Only customers using the Airport Connector and traveling between the airport and Interstate 295 will pay $1.25 at the ramp linking the connector to Pocahontas 895. This toll will be collected electronically, with payment made by E-ZPass® or Visa/Mastercard credit or debit cards.
Transurban, the long-term manager that operates and maintains Pocahontas 895, agreed to finance and construct the nearly $50 million Airport Connector Road as part of a public-private partnership with VDOT established in 2006. The project did not require Virginia taxpayer funding and was supported through a loan provided by the federal government and backed by Transurban.
"The Airport Connector Road is a showcase of how the commonwealth can use public-private partnerships to create jobs, improve our transportation network and strengthen our economy," Virginia Secretary of Transportation Sean T. Connaughton said.
Construction put an estimated 450 people to work and engaged more than 50 contractors. Transurban and its partners exceeded all goals to use small, disadvantaged, and women- and minority-owned businesses as subcontractors as part of the construction of the project.
"As a long-term operator, Transurban is always looking at ways to improve service for its customers and work collaboratively with its partners, "said Tony Adams, Transurban's vice president, major projects. "This project will benefit the airport, local travelers and businesses and fulfills a long-term goal of VDOT and Henrico County."
Over the last decade, Richmond International Airport has been one of the fastest-growing airports in the nation. "The Airport Connector is part of a package of projects designed to significantly improve access to the airport, which will ultimately benefit the city of Richmond and prepare it for future growth," said James B. Donati, Jr., Henrico County Board of Supervisors and member of the Capital Region Airport Commission. "More immediately, the Airport Connector project infused money into our local economy, and it will provide more convenient choices for local travelers."
Construction of the new road, designed and built by American Infrastructure - VA, Inc., was completed approximately two months early. The project, which began construction in early 2009, boasted more than 665 days without a lost-time accident - the entire two-year length of the project.
The project includes the placement of historical markers along the road to recognize and provide public access to information about the significance of the region in American history. Transurban has created a new online center - part of the Pocahontas 895 website - to spotlight eastern Henrico County's important Civil War, Native American, Colonial and agricultural history. The website features essays by local historian Dr. Louis Manarin, and images from various sources, including Henrico County's own collections.
About Pocahontas 895 and Transurban
Pocahontas 895 is an 8.8-mile toll road with an elevated bridge crossing the James River. It is located southeast of Richmond, Va., and links Interstate 95 at Chippenham Parkway (Route 150) with Interstate 295 to create a southeastern bypass of the city. It is the only crossing of the James River for six miles in either direction. With its open road tolling, customers with an E-ZPass® may travel without stopping to pay tolls.
The Commonwealth of Virginia, which planned and constructed Pocahontas 895, formed a public-private partnership with Transurban to operate the road and to build the Airport Connector, a convenient, direct route from Pocahontas 895 to Richmond International Airport.
Transurban is a leading international toll road owner-operator with assets in North America and Australia and more than 5 million customers worldwide.
For further information:
Mary Ellin Arch