8News investigates: Mayor’s neighborhood gets fancy new pavement while others await repairs

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — If you’re driving through the Brookbury neighborhood in Richmond, you may notice a smooth, freshly paved road.

Some people have asked 8News, ‘why this neighborhood?’ It doesn’t get a lot of traffic, so they wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that Mayor Dwight Jones lives nearby.

The paving truck is a rather unusual looking one; it’s strapped with a massive propane tank hooked to the top with flames shooting from the sides.

Bruce Scott, the Project Foreman with American Asphalt Surface recycling, told 8News investigative reporter Kerri O’Brien, “We have right now, I think it is four crews in here, which is a lot.”

Scott calls the project ‘hot in place recycling,’ or heat scarification. With temperatures getting up to 1,400, the truck melts the existing pavement.

“We take existing asphalt, refurbish it, lay it all back down and it never leaves the street,” Scott said.

The crews will then put a seal on it, making for a smooth ride.

But downtown, drivers are wondering about their bumpy commute.

Areas of downtown Richmond are littered with pot holes.
Areas of downtown Richmond are littered with pot holes.

“It’s terrible, yes. I hit about four pot holes,” said James Pula, who had to take his car to the shop because of damage from city pot holes.

Imagines of the street resurfacing in Brookbury upsets him.

“Oh wow, that’s terrible,” Pula said. “So the mayor can get it done in his neighborhood but he can’t take care of the city.”

Added Shockoe Bottom business owner Susan Tyler, “I wish they would come down here, we really need this street done.”

Tyler believes there are busier streets that need attention. On 18th street downtown, an 8News crew watched as drivers cross into other lanes just to get around the pot holes that are now exposing the old cobblestone.

“The pot holes are really bad after the winter,” Tyler said. “They haven’t come by to repair anything yet.”

Brookbury residents tell 8News the streets weren’t that bad, and even the foreman on the job admits this area is not that busy.

“There is not a lot of traffic on a street like this,” Scott added.

But a spokesperson with the city’s Department of Public Works tells 8News that Brookbury had been on the schedule to be resurfaced for about five years now.

And they added that this is not the only neighborhood that has benefited from this fancy heat paving. Other neighbors that have received similar treatment include Monument Park, Bellevue, Oregon Hill, Maymont and Dorset Road.

8News was also told this kind of paving will also be done in Scott’s Addition, John Marshall, Warwick and Bellmeade neighborhoods.

O’Brien was also told during her investigating that this can be cost saving for the city, because crews don’t have to tear up the road and bring out material, they just recycle what is already here, which can last five to seven years.

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