Chesterfield County officials expect that the now completed I-295/Meadowville Road interchange will spur a landslide of business for the Meadowville Technology Park in Enon.
With the expansion of Ft. Lee, a partnership with the Economic Development Partnership and ramped up efforts by Chesterfield economic development department, county officials expect the 1,300 acre technology park to begin to blossom.
Already the economic development department has a potential 1 million square foot distribution center working through the site-plan process on a fast track that could bring as many as 2,800 jobs. But economic development had the idea of this interchange as far back as 15 years ago when they put an option on the 1,300 acres. Six years ago Chesterfield exercised that option under the leadership of the then Bermuda District Supervisor Dickie King.
“It’s really something to get the project done when most were running away from projects like this,” said Chesterfield Administrator James J.L. Stegmaier last week during the ribbon cutting ceremony. He said the county worked with the Chester Chamber of Commerce, businesses, the U.S. Congress through Cong. Randy Forbes and VDOT to the get the funding for the project. “Though, all throughout, it’s been a beautiful project,” he said. “Now it’s up to Will Davis, the county’s economic development director, finish the job and bring in business to the park.
At its buildout, the technology park will look like a campus of high-tech businesses employing an estimated 7,200 workers and a private investment totaling $2.9 billion and 14.9 million square feet of office and industrial space. The construction of the buildings and infrastructure alone will generate 1,000 jobs in the construction field.
The cost of the interchange was $20 million although Stegmaier said in his opening statement, standing on the pavement of the northbound entrance before the ribbon was cut, that the project came in under the estimate by $3 million due to the efforts of Curtis Construction, that completed the entrance and exit lanes in about 14 months.
Stegmaier continued, “Not any one person has fingerprints on this project; so many individuals contributed.”
Current chairman of the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors, Art Warren praised Lane Ramsey, former Chesterfield administrator, for his leadership early on in the project and pointed out former Deputy Administrator Pete Stith, who he said procured the first $5 million in funding. The Commonwealth Secretary of Transportation, Sean Connaughton, said the Chesterfield County Chamber of Commerce “approached me to get the job done.”
Secretary Connaughton’s website states, “This work completes the first of two phases that will eventually include a full cloverleaf interchange and collector-distributor lanes between the Meadowville Road and Route 10 interchanges.”
The interchange was opened to drivers on December 15, 2011.