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Businesses impacted as Laskin Road project continues in Virginia Beach

The feeder lanes on Laskin Rd. have been frustrating drivers for years and the VDOT crews are working to replace them with an eight-lane (divided) highway.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The feeder lanes on Laskin Road have frustrated drivers for years.

“As cramped as it is right now, a lot of people don't know how to use feeder lanes. I think it's an extinct method so it makes it all the better that they are getting rid of it entirely,” said Christian Lopez.

VDOT is getting closer to making them a thing of the past. Crews have worked to widen Laskin around Hilltop for years. People say the growing pains are real.

Lopez explained, “I feel like a sardine on the road. It's constant blockage and stoppage.”

The constant construction on Laskin Road in Virginia Beach will last until Spring 2023. The project began in 2019!

“So soon, ok. Haha. Well hopefully sooner than that,” Lopez said.

VDOT crews are removing all the feeder lanes and adding an eight-lane divided highway and replacing the bridge over Linkhorn Bay.

Chris Taylor owns Smoothie Stop, a new business in Hilltop. He’s happy crews are making improvements to Laskin Road.

He said, “Positive changes is going to be positive for Hilltop East and North and I’m just excited that they are making those improvements.”

VDOT leaders said they know the feeder lanes are confusing, and that's why they are removing them.

“It’s much needed, but as a business owner we are paying the price for it,” explained Cheryl Griggs.

RELATED: Laskin Road project construction hurting local businesses

Giggs owns Wink Salon. She said she’s lost water and power in the middle of the day, which impacts her business.

She said, “If you could prepare for it, it would be one thing but that means you have to cancel business so you're stuck without water what do you do? How do you rinse the color of a client's hair.”

Higgs now uses a bottled water service to make sure she never runs out. She said she also bought a cell phone for clients to call if there’s a power outage.

“We didn’t lose any clients but we did lose business just not by being able to answer the phone and canceling because you don’t know when the water is coming back on,” explained Giggs.

VDOT Senior Communications Officer Jordan-Ashley Walker said 3/4 of the feeder lanes on the Laskin Road corridor are already blocked off.

She explained, “It's a big milestone for us because it's giving people a feel especially in that area what business access is going to look like moving forward.”

Walker said most of the construction going on now is utility work which is done underground. She reminds people the growing pains now will be worth it in the end.

“We are making it safer and making sure people can get more quickly from point A to point B,” Walker said.

Walker wants to remind people to be patient while driving through the work zone. Drivers should obey the 35 mph speed limit at all times.

Author's Note: The video below is on file from Dec. 13, 2019.

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