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Chesterfield County’s plan to ease Amazon traffic

UPDATE: Amazon has agreed to pay for the extra police officers used to direct traffic around the fulfillment center, according to Chesterfield Police Capt. Kevin Smith.

CHESTER, Va. (WTVR) – Traffic issues persist outside the Amazon fulfillment center in Chester. Long lines of cars could be seen waiting to get into the facility before sunrise Monday. Amazon adds extra staff in the weeks leading up to Christmas, and that has caused the back ups.

Last week some Amazon workers and their families spoke out about their traffic frustration. Over the weekend, that frustration spilled over to neighborhoods near the Amazon center.

Neighbor Issac Johnson told CBS 6 reporter Joe St. George traffic jams caused by Amazon workers can turn quick trips to the store into frustrating journeys. He said the traffic also made him worry about how emergency crews would get to him or even to Amazon in the event of a catastrophe.

In response to CBS 6 reports and complaints from neighbors, Chesterfield Police captain Kevin Smith said that beginning Monday night, more police would be assigned to help with traffic flow.

Smith said police planned to shut down lanes to get emergency crews through traffic if need be.

While Amazon had been paying off-duty officers to help ease traffic, the police working Monday night will do so at taxpayers’ expense.

Pastor Michael Moore, whose church has been impacted by Amazon traffic, said while the traffic has been frustrating, the company is providing jobs to the area.

“This is a lot of complaining phone calls, but in two weeks this will be gone,” he said.