Thursday, July 5, 2012

Mayor and Sheriff Survey Jail Construction Progress

Mayor Dwight C. Jones and Sheriff C.T. Woody toured the site of the new Justice Center construction project last week. The tour was done as contractors reached the milestone of setting the first cornerstone of the city’s new Justice Center. The project is estimated to cost $134.6 million.

“I am pleased to see the progress on this very important and long overdue project,” said Mayor Jones. “We are building this new Justice Center with an eye to the future; a future in which this facility will only house those who actually belong here.”

“My employees, our daily visitors, and our jail’s residents all look forward to the transition into the country’s newest, most modern facility. The Richmond Justice center will serve as a model for years to come for other jails across the Nation, and it’s exciting to see it take shape before our eyes,” comments Sheriff C.T. Woody, Jr. “We are grateful for the efforts of the Mayor and all the members of our surrounding community for their support of this long overdue city project.”

The construction is adjacent to the current jail site and will have a rated capacity of 1,032 beds. The new Justice Center will be more efficient, provide more humane treatment of inmates, and better conditions for employees and visitors. The Jones Administration is also focused on finding alternative solutions for non-violent offenders and for those with mental illness.

The joint venture of Tompkins/Ballard in association with T.K. Davis, the winning vendors for the construction of the new Justice Center, proposed a single-phase approach so inmates would not need to be moved out of the existing jail during construction. The proposal also was the only to meet the City’s budgeted amount. It exceeds Mayor Jones’ goal of a 40 percent minority participation rate, as the proposal had a 50.25 percent minority business inclusion plan. About a dozen local area minority business firms will be part of the construction team. The facility is slated to open in January 2014, and to be fully complete by the end of 2014.

City to Begin Work on State-of-the-Art Traffic Signal System

The City’s Department of Public Works Transportation Engineering Division will begin work July 9 on upgrades to the first 100 traffic signals that will be linked to the City’s proposed Traffic Operations Center (TOC).  This $21 million federally funded project will upgrade the City’s outdated traffic signal system and will install a new state-of-the-art system to the TOC, which is scheduled to open in City Hall next year. The upgrade of the signal system will involve installation of fiber optic and copper communication cables that will connect approximately 300 intersections to the (TOC).  This is the start of the first of three phases that comprise the project. 

WHO:  City of Richmond Department of Public Works

WHAT:  Richmond Signal System upgrade

WHEN:  Tuesday, July 10 through Friday, November 2, 2012, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
WHERE:  This project will take place at the following intersections:
  • Broad Street between Belvidere Street and Staples Mill Road
  • Monument Avenue between I-195 and Staples Mill Road
  • Hermitage Road between Broad Street and Sherwood Road
  • Multiple intersections in the Fan Area 
BACKGROUND:  The following improvements will be made to improve motorist and pedestrian safety. Motorists using the signalized intersections in the project area may experience temporary lane closures or lane re-configurations as the project progresses. Traffic control signage will be in place at these areas to guide pedestrian and vehicle movements.

SCOPE OF WORK:  There will be new traffic signal controllers, surveillance cameras (CCTV) and an advanced Traffic Signal Management Software at the TOC.  With increased monitoring capabilities, City staff will be able to respond more quickly to signal problems.