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A much-anticipated roadway that was both years in the making and long-awaited, opened to the public Saturday morning. The $48 million North Gayton Road extension, connecting West Broad Street to Pouncey Tract and Shady Grove Roads to the north, provides what residents say was a much-needed second north/south route in the Short Pump area.

County of Henrico planning officials say the project will not only take vehicles off Pouncey Tract Road, but will provide a less congested alternative for those in residential communities such as Wyndham and Twin Hickory to access the West Broad Street corridor and Short Pump Town Center.

Before the roadway opened, Pouncey Tract Road was carrying an estimated 11,000 vehicles per day. North Gayton is expected to carry 9,600 vehicles per day by year’s end, increasing to approximately 18,000 vehicles per day by 2032.

If a future Interstate 64 interchange is added near Dominion Chevrolet, officials say the number could balloon to 64,000 vehicles per day.

The project was delayed significantly by a variety of factors including issues with property acquisition and weather.

The extension was 100% funded by Henrico County through a 2005 Bond Referendum.

Today, communities across the Commonwealth and throughout the country will join together to celebrate International Walk to School Day.  Schools, towns, public health organizations, and parents alike are organizing walking school buses, group walks and other activities to highlight and celebrate the benefits of choosing student-powered transportation to school.

One school in the Short Pump area, Gayton Elementary School, is participating in the event. The total number of participating schools is expected to grow throughout October, which is National Walk to School Month.

Walk to School Day was established in the United States in 1997 by the Partnership for a Walkable America. Canada and Great Britain already had walk to school programs in place.  In 2000, these three countries joined together to create International Walk to School Day.

In May 2006, the National Center for Safe Routes to School was established to assist communities in enabling and encouraging children to safely walk and bike to school.

“We’ve seen a steady increase in the number of schools in Virginia that participate in Walk to School Day each year. Eighty-one schools participated in 2011 and 54 in 2010; this year over 100 have registered to participate which doubles the number of schools participating in the past two years, and we expect more schools to hold events throughout the month of October,” said Rob Williams, Virginia Department of Transportation’s (VDOT) Safe Routes to School coordinator.

“Many of these schools have received funding or technical assistance through VDOT’s program, but they have all taken it upon themselves to participate in this event, and to send the message to their students about the importance of a healthy and active lifestyle.”

Walk to School Day encourages a walk-focused celebration in the month of October, building support among teachers, parents and students for walking and biking to school year-round.

The North Gayton Road Extension Project, Henrico County’s $48 million plan to alleviate congestion throughout Short Pump, is making progress. Crews have placed steel across Interstate 64 for a new bridge, much of the roadway has been paved and a new intersection has been constructed where the new road meets Bacova Drive. Photos of the progress can be seen below.


Henrico Board of Supervisors on Wednesday night approved a $48 million plan to alleviate some of Short Pump’s most congested roadways. Construction of the North Gayton Road extension could get underway in as little as a couple weeks. Project details were presented to the public, and though most citizens seemed to agree the project is much needed, not all agreed on its implementation.

ATT01194-300x225Western-Henrico-based NOVA of Virginia Aquatics (NOVA) recently won its 13th consecutive Virginia Swimming Long Course Age Group Championship, held July 25 – 28 in Christiansburg. NOVA won the Boys, Girls and Combined titles. NOVA athletes leading the way were David Dixon, with seven total and five individual wins; Maddie Hadd, with six total and four individual wins; and Matthew Whelan, with seven total and three individual wins. In total, the team broke six Virginia State swimming records and seven meet records.

David Dixon, competing with the 13-14 year old boys, had five individual wins, in the 100m breaststroke, 200m breaststroke, 100m butterfly, 200m butterfly and the 200m individual medley. His time of 58.35 in the 100m butterfly broke the state record, and his time of 2:29.40 in the 200m breaststroke was a meet record. Dixon was also on the winning 200m medley and 200m freestyle (new state record) relay teams, placed second in the 400m individual medley (where he broke the previous meet record), 800m freestyle and 400m medley relay races, and third in the 1500m freestyle.

Maddie Hadd’s performance among the 13-14 year old girls led to wins in the 200m, 400m and 1500m freestyle events as well as the 200m butterfly. Still just 13 years old, Hadd broke three meet records (200, 400, and 1500m Freestyle), including Olympian Katie Hoff’s age-group meet record in the 400m freestyle, with a time of 4:24.59. Hadd also was part of the winning 400m medley and the 400m freestyle relay teams.

The 13-14 girl’s 400m freestyle relay set a new state record with a time of 4:05.06. Leading off that relay was teammate Bryn Gvozdas who set a new meet record in the 100m freestyle earlier that morning. In addition, Maddie helped to take home two third-place finishes in the 200m medley relay and the 200m freestyle relay.

Matthew Whelan had individual wins in the 11-12 year old boys’ 50m and 400m freestyle events and the 400m individual medley. Whelan also was on relay teams winning the 200m medley, the 400m medley (new state record), the 200m freestyle (new state record) and the 400m freestyle (new state record) relays. Whelan had four additional second place finishes (50m, 100m, and 200m Freestyle and 200m individual medley) and one third (100m butterfly).

Other first place individual finishes included Emily Koegl in the 13-14 girls 100m and 200m breaststroke, Sean Belden in the 10 & under boys 50m backstroke and 100m freestyle, Bryn Gvozdas in the 13-14 girls 50m freestyle, Atesh Camurdan in the 10 & under boys 50m backstroke and Bailey Butler in the 13-14 girls 800m freestyle.

  • Relay teams played an important role in NOVA’s victory, with first place finishes in fifteen of 24 events:
  • 10 & Under Boys 200m Medley Relay (2:27.62, Nikolas Lee-Bishop, Belden, Anderson Broughton, Camurdan)
  • 10 & under Boys 400m Medley Relay (5:29.16, Broughton, Trey Hepp, Belden, Camurdan)
  • 10 & Under Girls 200m Freestyle Relay (2:10.69, Caroline Sheble, Grace Sheble, Brin Kuzemka, Olivia Erickson)
  • 10 & Under Boys 200m Freestyle Relay (2:08.09, Belden, Camurdan, Broughton, Nate Pfeffer)
  • 10 & Under Boys 400m Freestyle Relay (4:49.86, Belden, Camurdan, Broughton, Hepp)
  • 11-12 Girls 200m Medley Relay (2:12.15, Quincey Edwards, Maura Graff, Catherine Wilks, Allison Langenburg)
  • 11-12 Boys 200m Medley Relay (2:06.47, Mark Graff, Colin Whiting, Whelan, Dain Ripol)
  • 11-12 Girls 400m Medley Relay (4:53.25, Emma Farney, Graff, Wilks, Alexa Heiry)
  • 11-12 Boys 400m Medley Relay (4:42.72 (new state record), Patrick Madden, Whiting, Christopher DallaValle, Whelan)
  • 11-12 Boys 200m Freestyle Relay (1:53.11 (new state record), Whelan, Whiting, Nicholas Viers, Graff)
  • 11-12 Boys 400m Freestyle Relay (4:10.28 (new state record), Whiting, Ripol, Viers, Whelan)
  • 13-14 Boys 200m Medley Relay (1:54.02, Jacob Johnson, Jake Holweger, Dixon, Campbell Nystrom)
  • 13-14 Girls 400m Medley Relay (4:35.77, Emily Provenzo, Jasmine Harper, Hadd, Gvozdas)
  • 13-14 Girls 400m Freestyle Relay (4:05.06 (new state record), Gvozdas, Provenzo, Hadd, Koegl)
  • 13-14 Boys 200m Freestyle Relay (1:42.58 (new state record), Dixon, Johnson, Aaron Rose, Nystrom)

NOVA’s lead age group coach, David Schreck, summed up the win, saying “NOVA is incredibly proud of our swimmers, who put a stellar effort forward. Excellent results for many swimmers, including newly-added VACS swimmers on the NOVA roster, helped the team tremendously. This was especially true for the relays, where NOVA won 15 of the 24 events and set five new state records. We are thrilled to have won our 13th consecutive long course title.”

NOVA of Virginia is located at 12207 Gayton Road. For details, call 804-750-1183 or visit www.novaswim.org