Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Mayor Jones Announces Major Expansion of Health Diagnostics Laboratory, Inc.

Mayor Dwight C. Jones today announced the expansion of Health Diagnostics Laboratory, Inc. (HDL) in the Virginia BioTechnology Research Park. This major expansion will occur in two Phases with the redevelopment of Biotech 5 and 3. Phase 1 will begin in early 2012 with a capital investment of $38.5 million in building redevelopment and machinery and equipment and the creation of an additional 353 net new jobs. Phase 2 will occur after the completion of Phase 1 and will include an additional capital investment of $30 million and the creation of 300 additional net new jobs.

“This $68.5 million capital investment and 653 net new jobs will bring HDL’s employment to over 950 employees and makes HDL a major employer in the city of Richmond,” said Mayor Jones. “This is a great example of the importance of cultivating our existing business base, and we are proud that HDL has chosen the city of Richmond to expand and grow their business.”

HDL, a CAP accredited leader in health management, offers a comprehensive test menu of risk factors and biomarkers for cardiovascular and related diseases. The company’s systematic approach identifies factors contributing to disease and provides a basis for effective treatment, allowing physicians to more effectively manage patients. As an added value, patients receive a personalized overview of their risk factors along with intensive counseling from expert Health Coaches at no additional cost, improving compliance and enhancing satisfaction.

“One in two people die from heart disease every year. This is more than the next seven causes of death combined, including cancer. Adding to the challenge, traditional cholesterol testing fails to identify up to 40-50% of the population at risk for cardiovascular disease and death,” said Tonya Mallory, President and CEO of HDL. “Despite these alarming statistics, we can beat cardiovascular and related diseases, and we’re proving it every day at our advanced laboratory in Richmond, Virginia. Our newest expansion marks the success of not only Health Diagnostic Laboratory, but the growth of the Life Science community throughout Richmond, and Virginia as a whole.”

“Health Diagnostic Laboratory, Inc. is one of the most dynamic and exciting companies to ever start in the Virginia BioTechnology Research Park”, said Robert T. Skunda, President and CEO. “The new $46 million building redevelopment accommodates their continued growth and will add significantly to the Research Park’s critical mass and growing scientific community.”

Monday, November 21, 2011

City Began Pilot Installation of Bike Sharrows

~Pavement markings to improve bicycling conditions on roads~

Bicycling in the city is about to become easier and safer for Richmond cyclists. On Saturday the city began installing the first of approximately 80 lane miles of bike sharrows that will be placed along specific corridors in the city. The pilot corridors where the sharrows are being installed include Meadow Street from Broad Street to Cary Street and Harrison Street from Broad Street to Idlewood, representing about three lanes miles of bike

sharrows thus far.

Sharrows are shared lane markings that are utilized to improve bicycling conditions on roads where designated bike lanes are either infeasible or inappropriate due to traffic conditions. Sharrows are a simple, yet visible way of improving conditions for bicyclists while also reinforcing safe and appropriate bicycling habits which in turn make bicyclists more predictable

in mixed traffic conditions. The pilot sharrows are located at regular intervals in both directions.

“These marking will remind motorists that the road is shared with cyclists; encourage motorists to pass safely and should reduce wrong-way bicycling,” said Mayor Jones. “The mild weekend weather allowed us to move forward with getting some markings on the ground which helps with a phased-in approach to introducing sharrows in our city as both motorist and cyclists begin to make the adjustment. I am pleased that we can begin creating awareness and understanding of the functions of sharrows in advance of the more widespread installation that will take place in the spring of 2012.”

Sharrows consist of a large chevron and bicycle symbol. From start to finish the project will cost about $775 thousand, with most of the funds coming from the Federal Government grant for

“congestion mitigation air quality” projects. Funds for sharrows are also in the city’s capital improvement plan for Fiscal Year 2012, which was approved by Richmond City Council following the Mayor’s Pedestrian, Bicycling and Trails Planning Commission recommendations.