Colonial Heights Intersection is Now Safer Due to Resident’s Concern

Improvements underway to make Colonial Heights busy intersection safer

Construction photo of improvements to make Colonial Heights busy intersection safer.

Partnering with the City of Colonial Heights, Clark Nexsen helped deliver a transportation improvement that will yield long-term  benefits to the community.

What started as a concern expressed to the city about an unsafe intersection turned into real life change for a Colonial Heights resident – with the help of Clark Nexsen’s transportation team.

Shannon Farthing frequently found herself crossing at the busy intersection of Conduit Road and Ellerslie Avenue to visit her grandmother at a nursing home. After seeing and experiencing firsthand just how dangerous the crossing could be, she decided to take matters into her own hands and express her concerns to the city council.

“I told them we needed a walk light because it was important,” Shannon, who has special needs, said. The Colonial Heights City Council was struck by her courage to speak up about a safety issue on behalf of the community.

“You know it caught our interest,” said Mayor Greg Kochuba. “There’s lots of activities in that area… people cross that street all the time and we took interest in that concern that she brought forward.”

After much deliberation, research, and discussion by city, Shannon’s plea was transformed into action.

Initial research into the improvements presented a hefty price tag. However, officials continued their research and soon figured out there was a way to lessen the financial burden on the city. By leveraging state funds with VDOT in a 50-50 split, the City of Colonial Heights was able to decrease the cost and receive funds to replace and upgrade equipment.

Clark Nexsen’s Transportation – Roads team, led by Andy Payne, including Bishal Karki, Whitney Duffy, and Jim Harrington, completely renovated the intersection. Equipped with new crosswalks with lights, the intersection also includes fresh paving, new LED traffic lights, mast arms instead of span wire, and battery backup power, in case of inclement weather.

Shannon regularly visited the construction site during the process to thank them for their work. In the end, the project came out to $800,000 but was completed on time, on budget, and, the City only had to pick up half the check.

“Shannon advocated for herself and it was such a positive experience” said Becky Farthing, Shannon’s mother. “I was so proud of her.”

Read the entire article reported by Mike Bergazzi and Wayne Covil here on