Construction during Laskin Road project worries citizens and business owners

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - The removal of feeder lanes on Laskin Road is mostly met with support from citizens and businesses along the busy road. The $92.2 million dollar project will widen the roadway, replace the Linkhorn Bay Bridge and also make improvements on First Colonial. However, the construction process is worrying some.

The lanes, which are secondary roads used to bring traffic to major roads, can be confusing to drivers. Customers who frequent the area and businesses owners say they've personally witnessed more crashes than they can count.

"It is a love/hate relationship. I have to say it's going to save a lot of accidents," said Daniel Nguyen, who works at Pho 79, which is near Trader Joe's. The front of Pho 79 has windows looking right out onto the entrance and exit to Laskin Road.

Another business owner happy to see the lanes on the chopping block is Gregg Rozeboom, who started Fruitive, an organic plant-based restaurant, near The Fresh Market.

"I just asked a customer what their thoughts were and they said it's going to be wonderful but it's going to be a pain in the butt to get there and they're right. We all know anytime you have a big road construction project it's going to be difficult for people to get in and out," said Rozeboom.

However, he's not worried about construction impacting the bottom line of his business.

"Hilltop, we have so much to offer and people are going to make their way here," said Rozeboom.

That's a sentiment echoed by another business owner Melissa Lang. She owns Jacobson Fine Papers and attended Thursday's public hearing to get more information on how traffic will flow during construction.

"It's just a matter of people being able to get to us when they want to. There's probably going to be some frustrations," said Lang.

Nguyen said he's confident Pho 79 has such a niche and quality product, customers will still find their way over.

However, a few other businesses that didn't want to be named told News 3 they aren't happy about the construction process.

Part of the project will include adding a 5-foot sidewalk on the south and a 10-foot shared-use path on the north on Laskin Road from Republic Road to the east end of the existing Linkhorn Bay Bridge. That's something business owners are excited about.

Traffic will be maintained in both directions during the construction of the new bridge. The project will be completed in two phases.

Public comments on the project can be made until Dec. 24th on VDOT's website.