A visit to Pump House Road last week proved to be eye-opening in many ways. The barriers that block the road are now also surrounded by a chain-link fence, cutting off the chance for walkers, runners and bikers as well as motor vehicles.
Pump House Road has been closed since mid-December 2010 due to a failure of the roadway from damaged and washed out storm sewer. It is a low-traffic road and not high on the priority list for the Department of Public Utilities. Pump House Road is expected to be closed until at least March, according to DPU. With the way the cold winter has treated Richmond, that could mean many more than just 2-3 months before the repairs could be made.
Recently, I brought up concerns with the timetable on the roadway’s replacement. Some have heard that it could be a more like a year or more before Pump House Road is repaired. After seeing the road up close, it does not look like a simple repair, and seems to have been deteriorating for years. I got past the fence by going through the woods in Byrd Park and crossing the creek.
There were no visible problems on the property. I feared that vandals might attack with the property unmonitored. Let’s hope it stays that way.
What is surprising — despite the road closure — is there were four parked vehicles at the entrance to Pump House Park during the 15 minutes I walked around the park. The only way to get there is to illegally pass through the private entrance at Tow Path Circle at the neighborhood at the top of Pump House Road, just south of The Carillon. Pump House Road is blocked off by barriers at Tow Path Circle and is not a through street, and it is illegal to go down the street through the private entrance. Must be some very desperate people to keep finding ways to use Pump House Road as a hook-up spot. There goes the hope that closing the road would bring cruising to an end.