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VDOT conducting safety study over lack of lighting on Huguenot Bridge

RICHMOND, Va. — The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is studying whether or not to put lights on the Huguenot Bridge after several users of the bridge raised questions about why there are no lights on the bridge.

VDOT Spokeswoman Lindsay LeGrand said the department is not required to put lights on the bridge, and the lack of lights is not a safety hazard.

Still, they opted to study the issue after receiving several questions asking “Why isn’t there lighting on the bridge?”

Ellen Davenport’s family lives in the neighborhood of the bridge, and when she returns home from college she frequently runs near the bridge.

She said the view of the Huguenot and the James make the workout bearable.

But, when the sun sets, Davenport admitted things can get a little dark on the bridge.

“I have gotten stuck up there when it’s raining, and it’s a little sketchy sometimes,” Davenport said.

Davenport said some type of lighting on the bridge could help.

“I don’t think there’s any harm in adding light,” Davenport said.

CBS 6 learned that is something VDOT is studying

Twenty-five thousand cars travel over the bridge each day, which means 175,000 cross this part of the James every week.

CBS 6 wanted to know if other bridges in the area have lighting.

We found the Wiley Bridge does as well as the Powhite Parkway Bridge.

People who live near the Huguenot, like Bryan Bostic, said it’s a completely different type of bridge.

“This is a neighborhood, it’s not an interstate, and we want to keep it that way,” Bostic said, pointing out that the Powhite Parkway Bridge serves drivers on Interstate 95.

Bostic’s home overlooks the bridge.

“It’s a very private neighborhood,” Bostic said.

He said when the new Huguenot bridge was built, several trees were torn down exposing his home to a lot of light, and he does not want more.

“Light pollution is something we took notice of,” Bostic said.

Still, both Bostic and Davenport believe a compromise can be reached to keep everyone happy.

“We did speak to VDOT about ground level lighting,” Bostic said.

“I am rarely opposed to things that make me more comfortable driving,” Davenport said.

LeGrand said she expects the lighting study to be completed at the end of the month.